Hemichromis letourneauxi

4. May 2015

current import from Guinea contained also two “classical” red jewel
cichlids. They were sent under the names of H. letourneauxi and H.
cristatus, respecively. Initially we fully agreed with those
determinations. The H. letourneauxi showed all features typical for the
species, eg the comparatively elongate body and the lateral spot placed
comparatively far in direction of the caudal. But now, after three
weeks, we have doubts in respect of the H. cristatus. Indeed most
specimens show the bright golden ring around the lateral spot, which is
so typical for H. cristatus. But all other features indicate rather that
the “H. cristatus” are also a colour variety of H. letourneauxi,
although they also have a larger amount of shining spots (iriodophores).

very special feature in our new importations is the appearance of
specimens with a double spot on the flank. Moreover, the spot often runs
up to the dorsal. Both features are very unusual for Hemichromis.
However, the double spot usually appears only on one side of the body,
on the other side is only one spot. Moreover, if one observes only
enough specimens, one can find any thinkable transition between these
extremes and “regular” H. letourneauxi. Nevertheless it is possible that
our new importations represent a species new to science.

largest specimens are about 8 cm long. Animals with a length of about
4-5 cm are sexually differentiated already. However, one must be aware
that these fish will reach a total length of 10-12 cm in home aquaria,
maybe even 15 cm in extraordinary old and large males.

For our
customers: the fish have code 536502 (letourneauxi variety) and code
536322 (cristatus variety) on our stocklist. Please note that we
exclusively supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer