Mud tunnelers


Adult male Neolamprologus signatus. Photo by the author.

Interested in the mud tunneling dwarves of Lake Tanganyika? Check out the latest edition of Cichlid News. The magazine requires a subscription but it’s well worth it. 

Ad Konings writes a very informative article about Neolamprologus kungweensis, N. laparogramma, and N. signatus. These are the three mud tunneling Tanganyikan dwarves. If you aren’t familiar with these species, you should definitely check them out. As dwarves go, these are in fact quite small. All three are sexually dimorphic in size, with females being smaller. Laparogramma is the largest of the three species, though males won’t typically reach 3″. However, unlike some other “beefier” dwarf species like Telmatochromis sp. ‘temporalis shell’ or maybe ‘Lamprologus’ similis, these three species are pretty slender.

Though the three species prefer the mud flats where they dig small tunnels in which to spawn, some of the flats are adjacent to neothauma shell beds, and these shells are sometimes used to spawn. Of note about these species are that their eggs tend to be non-adhesive, meaning their eggs won’t adhere to the tunnel substrate or even to shells, if shells are used.

Laparogramma aren’t found in the hobby often, but you can find kunweensis and signatus. I’ve kept the latter. Cool little fish!


Leave a Comment