Currently we have received beautiful C. axelrodi from a breeder. The animals are full in colour and about 4-6 cm long. Maximum length for this species is given around 9 cm.
Cynotilapia are typical mbuna cichlids. They differ from the closely related Maylandia (the zebras) by the dentition. Keeping is identical, which means they need ballast rich food and a high pH (over 7.5) to stay healthy. As they are like all mbuna cichlids highly territorial, it is necessary to keep them in groups. A try to keep them by pair usually ends with the violent death of the suppressed individual. Other mbuna cichlids fit also as tankmates and regulatives for the aggression.
In Lake Malawi, C. axelrodi is restricted to small areas (Nkhata Bay and Chirombo Point).
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
Lexicon: Cynotilapia: means “dog-Tilapia”, which refers to the dentition. Axelrodi: dedicated to Herbert Axelrod. Maylandia: dedicated to Hans J. Mayland.