I have posted several times in the past about the fecundity of my breeding pair of Telmatochromis temporalis. I have also posted photos of the parents and their fry. However, I believe this is the first time I’ve captured a photo of the female next to a shell containing visible eggs. Because adults of this species are often jet black in color and they prefer to remain hidden, it’s often difficult to get good photos of them due to their proclivity to use the numerous ceramic caves I provide. This time, though, I was successful…partially.
If you look in the photo above, you can see the eggs in the shell aperture (horizontal arrow) and you can see the female (vertical arrow) to the right of the shell just peeking out from within the cave opening. The photo appears washed out because I had to adjust it to make the female more visible. She’s looking straight on at me because I’m right against the front glass of the tank. She’s obviously curious about what I am doing, especially since her shell is only about 3-4″ from the front glass. If you’re familiar with temporalis, both genders have a nuchal hump. You can see hers quite visibly in the photo even though she is looking straight on. Also notice the white of the anterior dentary portion of her jaw (i.e., surface of lower front lip). This is not uncommon and can be especially noticeable in males, as they jaw joust frequently.
It’s hard to say if the eggs are fertile and hard to say if there are more inside. As you can see, the visible ones are quite light, almost egg-white in color, which is often indicative of being infertile, since typical temporalis eggs are more of a cream color (at least in my experience). She’s spawned probably over 80 times already, so she’s not a novice.