When lunch is fatal

Just like many other fish, some cichlids are predators. In fact, many will happily dine on their own kind, even relatives. That is just part of nature. But sometimes lunch becomes fatal. Case in point, this juvenile Telmatochromis sp. “temporalis shell” attempted to eat a sibling. It didn’t go well.

Juvenile Telmatochromis sp. “shell dweller” with conspecific fry protruding from mouth. Photo by the author.

I have a breeding pair of “temporalis shell” in a 20g long, which have spawned two or three times. I leave all the fry and juveniles in the tank until they’re large enough to take to my LFS. So naturally, multiple broods coexisting in the same tank will occasionally lead to encounters like this one, especially with opportunistic omnivores like these Telmats.

The juvenile in the photo above is only about an inch long. I didn’t attempt to extract the fry, but you can tell it was significantly smaller….just not small enough.

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