The wonderful West African cichlids have been somewhat forgotten in recent decades. In the 1970s and 1980s, on the other hand, they experienced a real boom and a great many new species were discovered at that time because ornamental fish collectors were only too happy to fulfill the aquarists’ desire for previously unseen cichlids. Many species of West African cichlids are magnificently colored. But there are also other, more inconspicuous species, which score for it by an interesting behavior. Chromidotilapia kingsleyae belongs to the latter.
The modern research of this well-known species – it was already scientifically described in 1891 and is at the same time type species of the genus Chromidotilapia – we owe to traveling aquarists with scientific claim, who set out in the 1990s and collected animals in Gabon with a lot of personal commitment and thus made it possible to distinguish similar Chromidotilapia species from each other. They also brought C. kingsleyae with them and so we now know that this magnificent cichlid is a mouth-brooding species in which both sexes can in principle participate in brood care, but the males are polygamous when they have the opportunity. They then spawn with several females, living as if in a harem. The brood care is then left entirely to the ladies.
We have received a few specimens of this highly interesting cichlid from a German breeder. There are no imports from Gabon. Therefore these animals probably go back to the ancestors collected in the 1990s. Our animals are with 6-8 cm length still young, C. kingsleyae is with maximum 15-18 cm length the largest species of the genus.
For our customers: the fish have code 514653 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer