It’s been a long winter, though still not quite done yet as I write this in late February. Even though ‘wintry mix’ sounds romantic, I can assure you it is not! More like snow, freezing rain, sleet glacial mess. I’m looking forward to bidding this awful winter goodbye. Welcome Spring! Welcome April Cichlid News!

Nowadays, the best-known mbuna among new cichlid fanciers is undoubtedly Labidochromis caeruleus, the cute and rather peaceful small bright yellow cichlid. This is not the case for the closely-related L. chisumulae, a distinct dwarf species in its own right and part of the L. caeruleus group. Patrick Tawil introduces us to this diminutive and sought after mbuna.

Petenia splendida is one of the largest and most distinguishable cichlids of Central America, with its unique morphology and its impressive protrusible mouth. In spite of the initial impression of aggressiveness, it is actually a gentle and delicate cichlid. Juan Miguel Artigas Azas introduces us to the unique Red Bay Snook or Tenguayaca.

Of the hundreds of cichlid species from Lake Victoria, only a fraction has made it to the cichlid hobby. Some are well-established, while others are less well known. The cichlids of the genus Lithochromis fall into the latter category. The genus name “lithos” means “stone” reflecting their preferred habitat which is rocky areas throughout the southern portion of Lake Victoria. Greg Steeves acquaints us with these beautiful, interesting, and uncommon Victorian “stonefish”.

Regular contributor and importer Oliver Lucanus updates his recent article on cichlids of Lake Mweru in the Congo that appeared in a previous CN (January 2017). Oliver describes initial successes in breeding these new cichlids, and updat­es their photos to show several of them in breeding dress. To date, of the ten species imported from Lake Mweru discussed in the first article, six of them have now been bred in captivity and will likely remain in the hobby for the foreseeable future. We applaud Oliver’s dedication and conservation efforts.

Don Danko relates his experiences keeping ‘Lamprologus’ callipterus, a behaviorally interesting cichlid from Lake Tanganyika, dubbed “The Shell Collector” by Ad Konings. Part of the species’ allure is the male’s proclivity for accumulating (and sometimes stealing from other males) empty shells for breeding purposes. Don offers his formula for success with this and other Tanganyika shell-dwelling species.

In the article “How Acara turned into Aequidens” that appeared in the last issue, (January 2019), Willem Heijns presented the taxonomic history of this interesting Neotropical cichlid genus that holds about 30 described and potentially undescribed species. In this Part 2, Willem offers a gallery of clear pictures that may be helpful in determining these.

From Laif, Ad, and myself, stay warm and enjoy your cichlids.

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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