It is December 03rd as I write this, just after Thanksgiving, with snow on the ground here in PA and much of the rest of the Northeast and Midwest. A bit of a surprise! Winter is here early! Time to get inside and enjoy our cichlids. In this issue of Cichlid News you will find much to jumpstart your interest in the fishroom.

In September 2019, a group of friends including author Mattia Matarrese, began a long trip on Lake Tanganyika from Kipili to Kigoma. Their goal was to hopefully find new deepwater cichlid species using an underwater drone. In his CN article, Mattia introduces us to what he and others believe is a “new” undescribed species which they have provisionally named Neolamprologus sp. ‘benthosplendens’, the beauty from the deep. A photo of this “beauty” graces our cover.

An important means for the distinction and identification of any fish species is their coloration, because in general each species has its own typical combination of species-specific color patterns, which enables conspecifics to recognize each other. Exceptions are the so-called polychromatic (poly = many; chrome = color) species, in which within the same population differently colored individuals regularly appear side-by-side and at the same time. Wolfgang Staeck addresses the occurrence of polychromatism in the Central American cichlid Vieja fenestrata while introducing us to this unique species as an aquarium fish.

Speaking of the phenomenon of polychromatism, Ad Konings writes about the phenomenon in the Tanganyikan “lemon cichlid” Neolamprologus leleupi. Though kept by aquarists principally for its bright yellow coloration, it occurs in several color variants in the lake of which yellow is the least common!

In 1986 Greenwood split the new genus Parananochromis from Nanochromis and populated it with just 3 species: longirostris, caudifasciatus, and gabonicus. Since that time, several other undescribed species were discovered principally by aquarists collecting in the northern part of Gabon. One of these was P. sp. ‘Belinga’ which was subsequently described as P. ornatus. In his article, Anton Lamboj describes his successful efforts in the field to capture and return this fish to the aquarium hobby.

Our regular contributor—intrepid collector, importer, and author—Oliver Lucanus, shares his thoughts about and experiences with South American pike cichlids of the species-rich genus Crenicichla (94 species to date). While several species of these interesting cichlids have been successfully spawned in captivity, principally the so-called small- and medium-sized species, most of the largest species have not. Lucanus reviews for us, which have been spawned so far and offers tips on how keen aquarists should approach them based on observations made in the wild. Beautiful photos too!

Finally, Ad Konings reports on the current status of the Stuart M. Grant Fund for Cichlid Conservation, and Laif DeMason contributes his regular column What’s New.

Wishing you all a very Happy 2020! Enjoy your Cichlids!

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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