More Telmatochromis temporalis? Yes, please!

A male of the slender morph photographed at a depth of 14 m. Reprinted by permission from Springer Nature Customer Service Centre GmbH: Springer Nature, HYDROBIOLOGIA, A new morph of Telmatochromis temporalis (Cichlidae; Cichliformes) from Lake Tanganyika, Tetsumi Takahashi, Copyright 2020.

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. 

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Laetacara araguaiae profile

Female Laetacara araguaiae. Photo by Paul V. Loiselle from AMAZONAS Magazine.

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.   

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Better go looking if you don’t see someone….

Unsexed Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell”. This is not the aggressor described below, but a “temporalis shell” in another tank. Photo by the author.

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.

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