For the pike fans out there, especially fans of the dwarf species, see the latest issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. It is subscription only, but is well worth it, in my opinion. Anyway, the January/February 2021 issue has a great article on Crenicichla wallacii, a beautiful dwarf species. The article also contains several great photos of both wallacii and another dwarf species known as sp. “Essequibo,” named for the river in Guyana in which it is found. Though most pikes grow quite large, the dwarf species usually max out at about 4-5″. For photos of wallacii, you’ll need to do a Web search or you can visit The Cichlid Room Companion’s C. wallacii page.
For the L. brevis lovers out there, the latest edition of Cichlid News contains a great profile article by Ad Konings. The magazine is subscription only, but for the quality of articles it publishes, it is not very expensive, in my opinion. Currently, a two-year e-subscription is $46 USD. I am a subscriber and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Get it!
Permit me to anthropomorphize with this post. So, I don’t necessarily believe in animal “happiness” and other emotions, as we (humans) define them. However, I do believe that animals can reach a state of contentedness, just as they can a state of excitement.
I have made it no secret that I am a big fan of the Telmatochromis genus. Containing roughly six species, most members of this genus resemble species of the Julidochromis genus. Most are torpedo shaped and quite small. One of my favorites, however, is the bulldog of the genus – temporalis. If you follow this species you know that the normal temporalis, not to be confused with the dwarf morph, sp. “temporalis shell,” is quite robust in body shape. Unlike it’s torpedo-shaped cousins, both normal and dwarf morphs of temporalis also have a very noticeable nuchal hump. In fact, both sexes of temporalis posses this hump, with the male’s being more pronounced. In my experience, males are very territorial, not unlike many male cichlids. But I digress.
For those of you interested in South American dwarves, the Laetacara araguaiae is a beautiful, easy to keep little fish. If you aren’t familiar with it, check out the species profile in the September/October 2020 issue of AMAZONAS Magazine. Written by well renowned cichlid expert Dr. Paul V. Loiselle, the profile is quite detailed and provides a great snapshot of the species. You can read an excerpt of the profile on the magazine publishers website here – Reef to Rainforest Media.
I ran across a really cool video today showing several species of fish from the Araguaia river in Brazil. The short video by Oliver Lucanus is Part 2 of a video set he made about the Araguaia in Brazil. This was taken after recent rains had flooded the upper Araguaia and includes a possibly unidentified dwarf species of Crenicichla, which Oliver posits is from the Regani group. I also encourage you to watch the Part 1 video for more information about this river drainage in Brazil.
In the video above, you’ll see a small group of the dwarf pikes show up at about the 44 second mark. Oliver narrates the video and provides a nice description of these dwarves.
For more information about Oliver, check out the interview I did with him back in January of this year.
Anyone who follows the blog knows I’m partial to dwarf cichlids since that is what I keep, which includes shellies. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I purchased some fish way back in the spring of this year. Included in that purchase was a group of five Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell.” These are wonderful little fish, but I find them to be extremely territorial for their size. This may be more a product of the small space I’ve kept them in (20g longs), but that’s a post for another day. Though the little fellas only get about 2.5″ long, they just simply don’t like being around conspecifics of the same gender. IMO, they’re more aggressive than ‘Lamprologus’ ocellatus.
Do you keep Neolamprologus pulcher, AKA the daffodil cichlid? If you keep multiples and mixed sexes of this fish together, do you pay close attention to their behavior? Ever notice a head down or a head up posture when one fish is in close proximity to another fish? If so, you are possibly witnessing social hierarchy behavioral displays. Specifically, you’re noticing submissive and dominance behavior. But which one is which?
One of the absolute greatest joys of cichlid keeping is witnessing spawning behavior. Because I have new fish from an order I placed several months ago, I have been anxiously awaiting some pairings and subsequent spawning. All the fish I received were older juveniles or sub-adults, so I knew that pairing up would begin in a few months. You can read about the new fish in this post from back in May.