What's new April 2000
What's New ©by Laif DeMason

Summertime is here, which is normally a slow time for tropical fish interests. However, this summer's activities indicate an improvement over last summer, at least in the United States.  Perhaps hobbyists are tiring of "distractions" which have kept them from devoting time to their cichlids. The usual sources for exports are providing shipments, and supplies of bred cichlids are also strong. Shipments from newer areas for collections and exports have declined due to unfavorable cost-effectiveness when dealing in remote areas. Several hundred cichlid varieties are still available from different sources, and this seems to be adequate for now.  Hobbyists are selecting on the basis of particular tastes, and all seem to have different venues. Tanganyikans and Neotropicals still have their followings, whereas many hobbyists are selecting based on color and lower levels of aggression. All in all, an interesting time to see how the rest of the year unfolds.

Here's "what's new" on the cichlid scene: 

Lake Tanganyika 

Activity in this area has been fairly constant. Burundi and Tanzania have maintained levels of exports, while Zambia has faltered a bit. One of the Zambian exporters Jeanne Blignaut lost her life to a serious illness. We will all miss her dearly. 

what's new: Lake Tanganyika

Originally from Congo, Enantiopus sp. "Kilesa," or the yellow-throated melanogenys, is available from dedicated breeders. 
Photo by T. Koziol.

Still bred by commercial farms, Ophthalmotilapia nasuta "Kipili" is a colorful orange morph originally collected south of Kipili.

Found along the Tanzanian coast, Neolamprologus sexfasciatus "gold" is available at adult sizes from time to time.  Photo by T. Koziol.

Available by special order, Ctenochromis horei is an import from Zambia.

Lake Malawi

Malawi cichlid fans are still enjoying good supplies of colorful varieties.  While Mozambique collections are off line, those from along the Tanzanian and Malawian coasts are strong.  Some of the marginal exporters have given up due to depressed export prices; others have concentrated on colorful items available within a smaller, more manageable collecting area. 

what's new: Lake Malawi


Sold as Haplochromis mloto, and recently described as Copadichromis trewavasae, the specimen from Tanzania pictured shows a strong area of white on the dorsum.

Not often exported, Placidochromis johnstoni has been collected at Magunga (Tanzania) where the females show yellow casts. 
Photo by T. Koziol.

From Lupingu (Tanzania), Placidochromis sp. "yellow electra" sports black ventral fins as juveniles.

Collected in many areas, but exported recently from Tanzania, Lethrinops sp. "nyassae" or the yellow-capped Lethrinops is caught over open sand.

Metriclima  zebra from Manda north along the Tanzania coast sports a shiny, whitish blaze and a blue-black face.

Originally from Usisya (Malawi), the yellow color of Pseudotropheus elongatus is more evident during sexual displays.


There has been a shortage of good news from collecting points in Uganda.  The search for new material is underway, but no new exports of late.  Victoria fans need to wait and see what will develop.

West Africa 

Collecting activities have slowed down in some West African nations, while they have stopped altogether in others due to low variety and importers' unwillingness to deal with limited saleable species.  Exports from Congo and Nigeria are strong, as are supplies of bred items.

what's new: West Africa


Pelvicachromis taeniatus sp. "Nigeria red" is often available from specialized breeders.
Infrequently bred or exported, Pseudocrenilabrus nicholsi is a bluish morph found across northern Central Africa.  Photo by T. Koziol.


This large island's cichlid fauna is losing ground to "human impact" (e.g., deforestation and exotic introductions) and mother nature's recent hurricane activity. About ten captive-raised species are now available to hobbyists who want to keep these interesting and threatened animals.

what's new: Madagascar


Bred in good numbers, the large-spotted form of Paratilapia polleni (formerly known as P. bleekeri) is still the most popular Madagascar selection.
Infrequent spawners (and therefore infrequently available), Paretroplus nourissati (known as orange Lamena) is recommended to only the most serious cichlidophiles!



Collecting season has just begun in South America, with dwarf apistos, geophagines, and discus leading the list for import items. Specialized breeders complement the wild menu with an array of selections some very rare indeed!

what's new: Neotropics


Originally from Honduras, Archocentrus "cutteri"  has proven to be a popular bred item. 
Photo by J. Rapps.

A new variety of Jack Dempsey (Nandopsis octofasciatus) called the "blue dempsey" has an unusual blue calico pattern, as well as longer finnage.  Photo by J. Rapps.

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