Dicrossus filamentosus, the checkerboard cichlid, is a permanent guest in our fishhouse. The beautiful dwarf cichlids make gorgeous aquarium inhabitants.
Last week we obtained a shipment of large specimens from Manaus, almost exclusively males. We decided to photograph them due to their brilliant coloration.
During selecting the models for the photo aquarium two unusual facts became obvious. First: one of the males was extraordinary deep bodied. And twice: there was no female in the shipment that showed the typical red ventral fins of sexually active females.
Instead the selected female showed two features that were also found in the unusual deep bodied male: the black marks along the side were almost quadratic (instead of rectangular) and there was a small black spot on the basis of the ventral fins (lacking in “normal” checkerboards).
Of course this can be pure chance. But it is also possible that the unusual checkerboards represent a hidden, so-called cryptic, different species. Since genetic analyses (DNA-analyses) have become so cheap, it has been found that cryptic species, which can be hardly told apart from well known species by external features, but which are totally different from a genetic point of view, are comparatively common.
For our customers: the Dicrossus filamentosus we currently have in stock have code 668002 (sm) and 668005 (lg-xlg) on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer