Snail-cichlids are a specialty of Lake Tanganyika. Of course also other places on earth exist where empty shells of snails are used by fish for hiding or breeding. But nowhere else than in Lake Tanganyika are so many specialized species.
In Lake Tanganyika real fields of empty snail-shells exist. Empty shells that lie here and there, more or less solitary, are settled by the specialized snail-cichlids, for example Lamprologus ocellatus and Co. But in places where the already mentioned fields of empty shells exist they are also used by species that are usually regular cave brooders.
Telmatochromis temporalis is a medium sized cichlid (10-12 cm) that settles along the whole lake. It is not very popular in the hobby, for it has a rather dull coloration and is quite robust in its behaviour. It is a typical cave brooder with a parental family. Interestingly the species has developed a dwarfish variety in areas where large snail-shell fields occur. This dwarf form becomes only 5-6 cm long. Currently this variety is considered to be conspecific with the normal form which is the reason for giving it the additional name “shell” in the hobby.
In contrast to the normal form this dwarf is highly demanded in the hobby, because its unusual shape brings a very interesting aspect in each community tank for tanganyika cichlids.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
|Angaben zum Tier|
|Herkunft||Nachzucht / bred|
|Verfügbare Größe in cm||5-6|