Chromidotilapia guntheri (Sauvage, 1882)
Guenther's mouthbrooder
photo by Nilsson, K.

Family:  Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Max. size:  18 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; pH range: 6 - 8; dH range: 5 - 19, potamodromous
Distribution:  Africa: coastal basins from the river St. John in Liberia to lower Cameroon and the Benito River in Equatorial Guinea, in forest and northern adjoining savannah; also known from the Niger and the Bénoué River (Ref. 53405). Previously, two subspecies were recognized: Chromidotilapia guntheri guntheri and Chromidotilapia guntheri loennbergi.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 15-17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-12; Anal spines: 3-4; Anal soft rays: 6-8. Diagnosis: 21-25 rakers on first gill arch; when stressed with two continuous dark bands on body; 1st dorsal fin spine 30-35% length of fifth spine; caudal fin truncate to subtruncate; dorsal head profile straight; iris yellow to brownish, posterior half sometimes red; upper lip white or pale blue; anterior 2-3 dorsal fin spines with black interspinous membrane in juveniles (Ref. 81260). Description: relatively robust when adult (body depth 30.8-40.3%, mean 36.5% SL) (Ref. 81260). Snout prominent, long and acute (Ref. 81260), 36.7-46.0% of standard length; 2 (rarely 3) rows of monocuspid teeth in jaws; lower pharyngeal bone with slender (bicuspid) teeth; no micro-gillrakers; scales cycloid (Ref. 53405). Predorsal profile rises steeply over eyes, more or less straight to dorsal fin origin; caudal peduncle usually deeper than long or occasionally longer than deep; 11 hypobranchial and ceratobranchial rakers, 9-10 (median 10) lanceolate epibranchial rakers (Ref. 81260). 18-22 scales in upper lateral line, 9-12 in lower (Ref. 26710). 3 scales between 8th pored scale of upper lateral line and dorsal fin base; in adults of both sexes some dorsal and anal fin rays elongated; caudal fin truncate to subtruncate; sexual dimorphism well-developed; males usually 10-20% larger than females, dorsal, anal and pelvic rays in males more elongated (Ref. 81260). Coloration: body bronze-brown, paler ventrally; dark pigment around scale margins more prominent in males than females; often 2 dark longitudinal bands on body, especially in juveniles; sometimes these bands are replaced by 2 rows of dark blotches; males often with short red mid-lateral band immediately behind outer border of opercle and with reddish branchiostegal membranes (Ref. 81260). Males with 2 bright red spots, one located in postero-ventral area of eye and other, triangular, behind opercle (Ref. 53405). Lips white to bluish, cheek and opercle with a bluish or white flush; chest and belly white (Ref. 81260). Belly and flanks of ripe females intensive red/pink, sometimes violet, especially when courting (Ref. 53405, 81260). Dorsal and upper half of caudal with red margin, more prominent in males than females (Ref. 53405, 81260), and with blue submarginal band (Ref. 53405). In females most of dorsal fin and often upper half of caudal with a silvery white colouration, also in many females there is a row of dark black maculae on the base of this fin (Ref. 81260). Upper margin of dorsal and caudal fins black in females (Ref. 53405). In juveniles (up to about 2.5 cm SL), anterior parts of dorsal fin (2-3 spines) black (Ref. 81260).
Biology:  Substrate spawning, ovophilic, pair bonding, male mouthbrooding species (Ref. 81260). Both parents take care of the young after hatching (Ref. 47115).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 01 May 2009 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 03.07.93
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 02.05.16
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 24.08.94

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