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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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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Quarantine chaos!

Dominant male Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” in quarantine tank. Photo by the author.

Even the best made plans can go awry! Revisiting my recent fish order and the subsequent quarantine plan I implemented, a little problem developed. Thankfully, the problem wasn’t a health issue but rather a behavioral one.

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My cichlid species “wants”

If you’re like me, you rely on myriad resources to get your cichlid information. I subscribe to multiple serials devoted to cichlids, I search the Web regularly, and I have some of Ad Koning’s books. I’m also a member of multiple cichlid groups on Facebook. In aggregate, these resources have provided a plethora of species profiles and information about both popular species and lesser known fish.

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