Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Rock-dwellers, often in aggregation (Ref. 86760). Omnivorous, feed on shellfish (snails and mussels) and fish (Ref. 6770). Food intake of mouth brooding females is for nourishment of both themselves and the young (Ref. 33980). Aquarium keeping: several females for one male; minimum aquarium size >200 cm (Ref. 51539).
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Distribution

Range Description

Endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Widespread throughout the lake.
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Africa: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika.
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Geographic Range

Lake Tanganyika, Africa. Cyphotilapia gibberosa are found between 5-50 meters in depth. Older individuals inhabit deeper water. Large schools are found 30-50 meters deep with isolated individuals being found shallower, however it is very uncommon to find individuals in shallow waters (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993).

Biogeographic Regions: ethiopian (Native )

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Eastern Africa: northern half of Lake Tanganyika.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Cyphotilapia gibberosa can grow up to 35cm long. Their body shape is deep and rather compressed with a hump on the head which increases with age. The body has broad deep blue and white alternating bands and two lateral lines with an overall light blue flourescent glow. Cyphotilapia gibberosa also have two large pectoral fins, long white filamentous ventral fins, and round caudal fins. The mouth is protrusive and large but not especially powerful. The teeth are all very fine and compressed (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993)

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Size

Maximum size: 330 mm TL
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Max. size

33.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5623))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Cyphotilapia frontosa prefers a rocky bottom habitat extending into deep water. It is a generalized predator on fish and macro-invertbrates. Fragments of mollusc shells have also been found in the gut. Gill net catches show that Cyphotilapia frontosa is most abundant between 60–120 m (Pearce 1958). However, large schools of up to about 1,000 individuals have been observed underwater by Brichard (1978) at 30 to 40 m depth. Individual size seems to increase with depth, ranging commonly between 250 and 300 mm, making this species one of the larger rock dwellers.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater; pH range: 8.0; dH range: 8 - 12
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Cyphotilapia gibberosa is found in coastal waters. They are most commonly found along rocks in water 30-50 meters deep (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993).

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds

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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on algae/detritus (Ref. 40115).
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Food Habits

The diet of Cyphotilapia gibberosa is mainly composed of shellfish and smaller fish. However, when kept in an aquarium they will eat almost anything, from vegetable flakes to other fish and insects (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993).

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Diseases and Parasites

Fish tuberculosis (FishMB). Bacterial diseases
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Females incubate eggs in buccal cavity. Early hatching embryos commence feeding on inhaled particles by the female when still in possession of large yolk (Ref. 7471). In one study, larvae of up to 1.66 cm TL are mouthbrooded by a female parent 14.0 SL long (Ref. 86760).
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Reproduction

Cyphotilapia gibberosa is a mouthbrooding fish. It continues to stay in deep waters while releasing its fry, which is unusual for most mouthbrooding fish. Most mouthbrooding fish rise to shallow waters for incubation or to release their fry in order for the fish to receive better oxygenation. However, C. gibberosa release their fry about twenty meters deep. This leads to the belief that fry and adults require less oxygen than other mouthbrooders. This is an advantage for the fish, because water twenty meters deep is much less populated than is shallow water. Thus, there are fewer predators to prey upon the fry. Females lay 22 to 25 eggs and incubate their fry until they are close to 25mm long. After release, the fry mix in with the adult schools and breed when they are 20-22 cm long (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Cyphotilapia frontosa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2006

Assessor/s
Bigirimana, C.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Programme)

Contributor/s

Justification
Widespread distribution throughout Lake Tanganyika with no major widespread threats identified.
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IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
No information available.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Sedimentation, and over-exploitation for the aquarium trade. A specific threat in Burundi is the road construction from Bujumbura to Rumonge, which results in increased sedimentation, deforestation, water pollution, and risk of landslides.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is not protected by any specific legislation.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Cyphotilapia gibberosa is positive for human economy. These fish are caught very frequently and in large amounts to supply local markets. They are eaten regularly by local populations. If caught alive and kept alive, they may be sold to fish enthusiasts (Brichard 1989; Axelrod 1993).

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Wikipedia

Cyphotilapia frontosa

Cyphotilapia frontosa is a fish from the cichlid family native to Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. C. frontosa is endemic to Lake Tanganyika and is widespread in the northern half of the lake, whereas the closely related Cyphotilapia gibberosa inhabits the southern half of the lake. Unlike many cichlid species C. frontosa is a pelagic fish and rarely ventures close to the shoreline. The species generally resides at greater depths (30–50 metres sub-surface) than most other cichlids and rises to shallow waters in the early morning to feed on shoaling fish such as Cyprichromis species. C. frontosa can grow to a significant size with even captive specimens potentially growing to 35 cm in length. The fish can live for over 25 years.

C. frontosa has distinct markings with 6-7 black vertical bars adorning a white or blue body and head and trailing fins with a distinct blue hue. The species also develops a nuchal hump that is more pronounced in older specimens. C. frontosa is a sexually monomorphic species, although the hump is occasionally more pronounced in males. As is the case with many of the cichlid species found in Lake Tanganyika, parallel evolution between distinct breeding colonies has resulted in several different colour variants developing.

In the aquarium[edit]

C. frontosa is popular aquarium fish and several naturally occurring colour morphs are frequently available for sale to hobbyists. Due to its size C. frontosa needs a relatively large aquarium, however, it behaves relatively sedately and is tolerant of both con- and heterospecifics. Frontosa need a cave or similar rocky structure to live in; this is to ensure the frontosa feels secure. If these are not present to satisfy the frontosa's need for security it will begin to attack the other fish in the tank. This is especially true with male frontosa. Female frontosa are more likely to be satisfied with ground territory. They are best kept with other cichlids or semi-aggressive fish. They do not like being alone and should be kept in groups of 3 or more. Keeping more than one adult male requires a large tank though. Frontosa are best kept in at least 150 gallon tanks (550 L). A 150 gallon tank can house 6-8 frontosa. Water chemistry and temperature should mirror those found naturally in Lake Tanganyika. The PH should be between 7.8 to 9.0 and the temperature of the water should be between 79-82 F (26-27 C). The addition of rocks, or other ornaments such as pipes, allow the fish to hide and reduce stress. When spooked, frontosa have been known to break thermometers, filters, and even crack tanks. Frontosa do not grow to the size of the tank, they will grow to about 10-14 inches(25–35 cm).[1]

C. frontosa is an opportunistic feeder in the wild and its diet in aquaria should consist of good quality prepared foods, frozen foods like krill and earthworms occasionally. Since they originate from deeper water, care should be taken to avoid feeding them at the surface of the tank. Doing so could cause them to ingest air along with their meal leading to a condition known as 'Float'. For this reason sinking pellets are a common staple food.

References[edit]

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