It’s the end of August as I write this, and kids—me too—are headed back to school. The last hot weeks are soon to change again after a summer of heat waves and flooding out East here. Soon, when you receive this magazine (October) it will be time to take your pond cichlids in for the season. And as it soon chills, time to refocus our attention indoors in the fish room, if you have one, or on that prize aquarium. This month’s issue has something for everyone.

Haplochromis thereuterion is an elongated, sardine-shaped cichlid from Lake Victoria. According to Greg Steeves they do well in a permanent community setup: some of the young released will always survive to adulthood. They are great for a single species only display tank, and will maintain a community population indefinitely. Greg recommends them as a first species for aquarists making their initial foray into Lake Victorian cichlids.

The Northern Checkmark cichlid, Chuco intermedium, is named for its unique distinctive checkmark-like pattern which it shares with its southern close relative, C . godmanni. Apparently the two have hybridized in the Rio Sarstoon, Guatemala. It is a rather large Central American cichlid reaching a little under 23 cm (9.1 in) in the wild, and bigger still in the aquarium: almost 12 inches (30 cm). Though large, it is not particularly aggressive. Gregarious in the wild, it does best in groups in the large aquarium and is relatively easy to breed. Juan Miguel Artigas Azas tells us all we need to know.

The “ram”, so-named after one of its first discoverers, Manuel Ramirez, was first introduced as an aquarium fish c. 70 years ago. Aquarists and ichthyologists have long argued about its correct genus name. While first placed in the genus Apistogramma, Kullander (1977) then redescribed it and erected the new genus Papiliochromis, meaning “butterfly cichlid”, but the currently accepted name is Mikrogeophagus. Wolfgang Staeck describes his experiences collecting “rams” in Colombia and Venezuela.

There are a large number of predatory cichlids in Lake Tanganyika of which Altolamprologus compressiceps is one of the most commonly kept in aquaria. As Ad Konings relates, it is a relatively easy and rewarding species for the Tanganyika aquarium. In addition he shares photos of many of the available and remarkable geographic variants.

There has been a growing appreciation for the role played by natural interspecific hybridization in many if not all cichlid lineages. Indeed it seems to have been a common occurrence and that it—and not genetic mutation alone—has generated and continues to generate the genetic variation underlying the dramatic and explosive radiation of cichlids, particularly in the East African Rift lakes. In my article, on same, illustrated by the exceptional photos of Greg Steeves, I review the most recent findings with respect to the explosive evolution (500 species in 15,000 years!) of Lake Victoria’s cichlids.

We close as usual with Laif DeMason’s “What’s New”. Wishing you all a wonderful fall season. From Laif, Ad, and me, enjoy your cichlids!

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

return to index


Copyright © 2018 Aquatic Promotions, Inc. All rights reserved.