Happy 2018 Everybody! We have a great first issue of Cichlid News to kick off the New Year!

For many of us old enough to have kept fish before Lake Malawi cichlids were easily available (i.e. early 1970s), the “Red Hump” eartheater, ‘Geophagus’ steindachneri was perhaps the first mouthbrooding cichlid we could observe and breed in the aquarium. It remains popular even today, for its ease of rearing and spawning. Meanwhile, the “Red Hump group” is made up of two more equally entertaining and desirable species: ‘G.’ pellegrini and ‘G.’ crassilabris, all three of them hailing from northwestern South America. More recently, several as yet undescribed members of this delightful group have been imported. Oliver Lucanus and I are happy to share with you here.

Pam Chin introduces us to a species famous for their blue eyes and forked tail: Tropheus annectens. Pam was able to swim with T. annectens at several key sites throughout their range on the east coast of Lake Tanganyika. She extols the virtues of observing Tropheus species in the wild as it helps her understanding of their behaviors, personalities, and requirements which she applies to her own Tropheus keeping, which she shares with us here.

Several groups of cichlid species from the Lake Victoria Basin are specialized feeders. These include algae eaters, piscivores, detritus sifters, scale eaters, insectivores, snail eaters, and author Greg Steeves’ favorite group, the paedophages, or “baby eaters”. Lipochromis species feed using two methods: the “bump” and “snout engulfing”. Greg describes in detail these two methods, and how to maintain these most interesting Lake Victorian cichlids in the aquarium.

The well-known Jack Dempsey, Rocio octofasciata, has one of the largest distribution ranges of any Central America cichlid. In 2007, Schmitter-Soto defined the new genus Rocio for this species and additionally populated it with two new species that have very narrow distributions: Rocio gemmata and R. ocotal. Juan Miguel Artigas Azas takes on the validity of the species R. gemmata in this article, concluding through detailed examination that it should be considered merely a population of R. octofasciata, and not a different species, thus proposing that the name gemmata is a junior synonym.

Ad Konings discusses the taxonomic problems arising from the variation seen in numerous populations of Julidochromis and the validity and distinction of the recently described J. marksmithi, which he has previously regarded as a geographical variant of J. regani. Fascinating reading and great photos!

We finish off, as usual with Laif DeMason’s regular “What’s New” contribution. As editor I’d like to thank all of our authors over the past year for their support in providing the best in cichlid articles. I’d like to thank you, our loyal readers as well. On a personal note, I’d like to thank Oliver Lucanus for his excellent photos and information, and for having me as a coauthor on some of these articles. Thank you! From Laif, Ad, and myself: Happy New Year!

Enjoy your cichlids!

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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