With Christmas in the rearview mirror we move on to a more challenging slice of winter. That’s what aquariums are for: sheltering in place with your cichlids. We hope this great collection of excellent articles will stimulate your interest. And here they are:

Three of Cameroon’s many crater lakes are known to support cichlid species flocks: Barombi Mbo, Ejagham, and Bermin. The Barombi Mbo species flock is without a doubt the best studied of these crater lake cichlid fauna and until recently the only one whose species were commercially available to aquarium hobbyists. In his article, Dr. Paul Loiselle introduces devotees of West African cichlids to Lake Bermin’s Red Deep-Walker Coptodon bythobates (Stiassny et al. 1992), a strikingly colored representative of the most recently documented Cameroonian species flock, the tilapias of Lake Bermin.

The very popular Tanganyika cichlid Cyphotilapia frontosa has a lake-wide distribution and occurs in several distinct geographical variants. These vary in the number of black bars on the body (six vs. five) and in the intensity of blue coloration. Ad Konings makes clear why he believes these to be populational variants and not distinct species as many have suggested.

Taxonomy involves constant change, and for many people, changes in the nomenclature of species can understandably be very frustrating, particularly when they involve a change of name for a longtime familiar species. Juan Miguel Artigas Azas shares the story of Emanuel Ritter von Friedrichsthal as told in a recently published paper by Rico Morgenstern (2018), and the changes involving several iconic species from the genus Parachromis.

Until the year 2000, nobody doubted that all dwarf cichlids from the well-known genus Apistogramma were cave-spawning cichlids. However, it turned out that this assumption was inaccurate. In June 2000 a ‘new’ dwarf cichlid appeared in pet shops in Germany. In the months that followed this species unexpectedly turned out to be a mouthbrooder. This astonished even experts. In 2008 it was formally named Apistogramma barlowi. Since then several other mouthbrooding Apistogramma have been discovered, many of them still undescribed. Wolfgang Staeck introduces these and shares his experiences with them.

The taxonomic histories of Cichlasoma and Aequidens are very much intertwined. Having dealt with Cichlasoma in a previous comprehensive two-part Cichlid News article (Heijns, 2014: 23(2); 23(3)), Willem Heijns here concentrates on Aequidens. Placed in a historical context, he provides an overview of the genus as it stands now, both concerning the scientifically described species and the numerous undescribed forms discovered in recent years.

We close as usual with Laif DeMason’s regular column, What’s New. From Laif, Ad, and myself, stay warm and enjoy your cichlids.

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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