This July edition of Cichlid News presents a wonderful mélange of cichlid species and cichlid stories. The first article, by Don Danko, presents a short history of Central American cichlid species in the American hobby. It is also a trip down memory lane for me. Back in the early 1980s I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at a long list of aquarium clubs and events. One of these was the Ohio Cichlid Association and as such I got to spend numerous weekends over the years with Don and Marilyn Danko in Ohio. Lately Don had been posting some of his wonderful vintage cichlid photos on Facebook. The overwhelmingly positive response to them (‘likes’) prompted me to ask him to write a history of his personal hobby which happily he did accompanied by these photos of the fish. Hope you like this stroll down memory lane as much as I do!

Next, Greg Steeves introduces us to an oddly monotypic genus of snail eaters from Lake Victoria—or are they? Maybe not. Platytaeniodus degeni is a small snail-eating cichlid which was believed until recently to be the only representative of this genus and which is now presumed extinct in the wild, though this species is still in captivity. In Kenya another beautiful haplochromine exists, the “Red Tail Sheller”. Clearly this species is close if not identical to P. degeni. Greg shares a discussion of this nomenclatural dilemma as well as his experiences with them in the aquarium.

Anton Lamboj shares his experiences obtaining and spawning the über-rare Nanochromis minor, a diminutive West African species that has been on the Westie Holy Grail list for many years. Minor, indeed! Males of this aptly-named species reach maximum sizes of just under one inch, with females only about 0.8 inches.

Along the same lines as Greg’s ‘red tail sheller’ story, Ad Konings reviews the perplexing nomenclatural dilemma he believes exists amongst species of the Tanganyikan genus Julidochromis. Ad believes that the small Julies from the southern part of the lake that are exported as J. transcriptus may be natural hybrids and he suggests names for three of the populations known.

Wolfgang Staeck discusses the identity and geographical provenance of the “True” Heros severus, which has been debated by aquarists and ichthyologists alike. Most recently, a mouthbrooding ‘severum’ from Venezuela was arguably designated as H. severus before then being described and named Heros liberifer (2005). A few years thereafter the true H. severus was identified based on diagnostic vertical banding patterns mentioned in the original Heckel 1840 description.

To round out this issue, Pam Chin reviews the recently released 4th Edition of Ad Konings’ seminal book “Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat”, Oliver Lucanus corrects some misidentification errors concerning four of the Lake Mweru cichlids presented in the last issue, and Laif DeMason concludes the issue with his regular What’s New contribution. All-in-All this issue definitely rocks!

From Ad, Laif and myself: enjoy the summer and your cichlids.

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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