Most hobbyists think about the cichlids of Lake Tanganyika when they hear the generic name Lamprologus. But there do exist also some species of river-dwelling (= riverine) Lamprologus. The most attractive species among them is without any doubt Lamprologus werneri, which we were able to import now once more. The slender fish is spread all over with silver spots.
Keeping these fish in aquaria is comparable to the well known humphead cichlids (Steatocranus). Like those L. werneri are current-loving, bottom-orientated cave brooders. A strong current in the tank is very important, as in quiet water the fish behave very aggressive against each other what is not the case in water with a strong current.
The sexes can be best distinguished by the shape of the dorsal fin, which is more elongate in males. L. werneri can change its coloration dramatically and one often may believe to observe different species instead of only one.
This is probably the reason why there is quite a lot of confusion in the hobby-literature regarding the determination. Our shipment of L. werneri contained also some specimens of L. tumbanus (a stout fish with a very large head and a slight pattern in the caudal fin, no light spots), L. teugelsi (very similar to L. tumbanus, but more slender, no pattern in the caudal fin), and L. congoensis (coloration like L. werneri, but much deeper-bodied).
For our customers: L. werneri has code 550403 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Lexicon: Lamprologus: means “the one that wears gloss”; refers to the shining spots on each scale of L. congoensis, the type species. Steatocranus: composed of an ancient Greek and a Latin word, means “fat skull”. werneri: dedication name for A. Werner, Munich. tumbanus: after Lake Tumba, the type locality. teugelsi: dedication name for Guy Teugels (1954 – 2003). congoensis: after the collecting site, the Congo river.
Common name: Werner´s ground cichlid
Text & Photos: Frank Schäfer
Literature: Schelly, R. C. & M. L. J. Stiassny (2004): Revision of the Congo River Lamprologus Schilthuis, 1891 (Teleostei: Cichlidae), with descriptions of two new species. American Museum Novitates No. 3451: 1-40.