What's new April 2000
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What's new April 2001
What's new July 2001
What's new October 2001
What's new January 2002
What's new April 2002
What's new July 2002
What's new October 2002
What's new January 2003
What's new April 2003
What's new July 2003
What's new October 2003
What's new January 2004
What's new April 2004
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Summer is upon us with its long days and warm weather. Interest in all types of cichlids has been gaining speed over the last several months, and the usual slowdown in summer sales may not be as marked, compared to the last two years. Collectors and exporters in the various exporting nations in West Africa seem to be “all out” for business. Various traders in Rift Lake cichlids have increasingly used the Internet to make live fish sales. As with any product purchased “sight unseen”, trouble may be around the corner. Novice purchasers may not know enough to see the differences in quality and suppliers. Ask for sales references and, more importantly, ask if the fish are actually in stock at location. Ask for a quick digital photo of the intended purchase, not a library photo. Rule number one is: “Buyer beware!” 

Here’s “what’s new” on the cichlid scene:

Lake Tanganyika 

With the departure of a few collectors there, a scramble by the remaining exporters has ensued to gain territory once commanded by the former companies. Of course now, a new set of trade names are being propagated to insure product line. Confusion and hopes for new purchases of old varieties may be the motives. One encouraging bit of news is that new collections of wild material from northern Congo (Zaire) are being exported via Kigoma, Tanzania. Of course, many Tropheus varieties from northern Congo have been farm-raised and available for many years from Burundi. 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

A “brichardi” type similar to “walteri”, Neolamprologus splendens collected from southern Congo sports light-green facial markings. 

Reportedly developed in Europe, an albino form of Lamprologus callipterus is now available. 

Raised and exported for years from Burundi, Tropheus moorii “Karambe” (known as “red head”) is now being collected wild from the eastern coastline of the Ubwari Peninsula in Congo.

Difficult to collect in quantity, Gnathochromis permaxillaris has been exported sporadically for ten years. Current exports from Burundi are in larger numbers and at bargain prices. 

Lake Malawi

Collections and exports of wild material from all corners of Lake Malawi are strong. Increased sales have also spawned an increased effort to supply more selections and varieties. Commercial breeders also report low inventories on many items. “Specialty” small mbuna and Aulonocara “peacock” varieties appear to be the most popular currently. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


An intermediate variety, Aulonocara stuartgranti “Mundola Point” is a newly offered peacock form. Photo by A. Konings. 

The new Cynotilapia afra “Chimate” from Tanzania is a dwarf species which sports a bicolored dorsal fin. 

From a new reef area in the north, Metriaclima sp. “red top Galilea” is often sold as a “zebra” variety. Photo by A. Konings. 

Collected from the Makonde-Nsisi area of Tanzania, Copadichromis trewavasae is better known as red-tip or red-line “mloto” and is again available from wild sources. 

From Londo (Mozambique), Placidochromis electra “black cheek” is an interesting item. Photo by A. Konings. 

Only rarely collected, Pseudotropheus williamsi “Makonde orange” has been exported lately from Tanzania. Photo by A. Konings. 

West Africa

Business has been good for some West African exporters. Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, and Nigeria have all been active of late. Surprisingly, interest among hobbyists is also keen for these cichlid fishes. Perhaps, the novelty of the many colorful varieties has captivated their attention. Many are trying their hand at these new selections. 

what's new: West Africa


Sold as “lemon forest jewel”, this spangled-face Hemichromis from Guinea is once again proving to be popular. 

A new species, Pelvicachromis signatus, hailing from the Kolente River (Guinea), often arrives mixed with Pel. humilis. 

Collected and shipped from Cameroon, this species could be Gobiocichla ethelwynnae.

One of the few different types of buffalohead forms shipped from the Congo River basin, Steatocranus sp. “Gombi” tends to be a bit more elongated than related forms. 


The collecting season in some parts of South America is over for now. However, there is still material shipped weekly from most countries. Popular tank-raised dwarf cichlids, as well as species such as discus, are actively being sold. Specialty-breeders can provide that unusual and sought-for item that is just not found elsewhere. 

what's new: Neotropics


From southern Brazil, Geophagus sp. “red head Tapajos” is a colorful form. Photo by J. Rapps.

Originally from Guyana, Heros notatus is now available. Photo by J. Rapps.

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