This month’s issue of Cichlid News has something for everyone!

Patrick Tawil continues his investigation into the genus Petrochromis. In his overview of the genus in 2010 he included a number of species and geographical variants in the so-called Petrochromis horii superspecies, one of which, the “Flametail Petrochromis” is subject of his article. He reports on further observations specifically about reproductive behavior.

West African cichlid enthusiasts are familiar with the distinctive hump-headed cichlids of the genus Steatocranus. It was clear, however, that the genus Steatocranus was clearly paraphyletic, with S. irvinei the “obvious joker in the genetic deck.” A recent study of the evolutionary relationships has resulted in the publication of a new generic name: Paragobiocichla irvinei! Paul Loiselle explains why, along with how to keep and breed them in the aquarium.

Have you ever contemplated climbing into your largest tank and swimming with your fish? Pam Chin shares her experiences “swimming with cichlids” in the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika at Katondo Point in Tanzania. She takes us with her in the photos and accompanying narrative of her experience. Amazing!

The genus Heros was erected by Heckel in 1840 to house high-bodied South American cichlids often referred to as “severum”. It was clear even then that there were several distinct species. One of the earliest described was Heros notatus Jardine 1843. Wolfgang Staeck clarifies the taxonomic history of this beautiful severum species along with tips on how to maintain and breed them in the aquarium.

Lake Kivu is one of the strangest rift lakes in Africa and is almost totally unknown in the cichlid hobby. The known cichlids of Lake Kivu, numbering 16 at this time, have been available only twice in recent years. Oliver Lucanus organized the recent collections and the New England Cichlid Association (NECA) imported the fish into the United States. As a result of these efforts, NECA has successfully spawned six of the 11 imported species, one of which is the piscivorous Haplochromis vittatus, the largest cichlid in Lake Kivu. Peter George recounts his recent experience with this interesting Kivu cichlid.

Vieja zonata has been one of the most confusing of the Mexican cichlids. In his article, Juan Miguel Artigas Azas, besides providing its distribution, habitat, natural history, and spawning behavior in the aquarium, also explores the taxonomic and distribution problems that until recently plagued this beautiful cichlid.

Ad Konings showcases several of the many geographical variants known for “Fainzilber’s Zebra”, in a new pictorial species profile column, demonstrating why this species is so popular among aquarists.

Happy Spring! Enjoy Your Cichlids!

Wayne S. Leibel, Editor

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