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Cichlid Aggresion
September 23, 2009
2:52 am
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johnpeten
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In one of my tanks a pair of what appear to be Yellow meeki, (affini) have taken charge of half the tank and the larger has excavated a cave. All of the 8 described Thorichthys have a black spot on the gill plates with the exception of callolepis. This pair does not have the black spot and callolepis is not found in Guatemala only in Mexico.
A Mayan cichlid urophthalmus has taken charge of the other half of the tank and excavated its cave down to the glass.
If either of them strays towards the center of the tank there is confrontation. The pair team up face the Mayan and inflate their jugular pouches. They both then back off.
There is also another smaller Mayan in the tank who gets attacked by the larger Mayan and by the Thorichthys, so he is between a rock and hard place. We will try to remove him from the tank.
Photos from the web of the 8 Thorichthys species are posted on the Pictures forum.
I have read that there are 6 other known species that have not been described. So I guess that maybe I have one of the undescribed species.
The first photo shows the pair and the second of the smaller one with pouch inflated and the Mayan peeking in from the right.

PS All my Cichlids now love imitation crab legs, which I chop in a small blender.

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September 23, 2009
12:37 pm
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retro_gk
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I think your fish is T. affinis.

See the article here

September 23, 2009
1:35 pm
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johnpeten
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Thank you for the pointer.

I had read another account of these French expeditions and had sent a translation to Matt. This account appears to contain more detail. I notice there are photos with the gill spot and without.
When I have translated this account I will let you know what I have found.
I also notice that they included the 8 described species plus one of the T. sp, this is a first.
Once again, many thanks.

September 23, 2009
5:01 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Cool link Rahul. /cool.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid="B)" border="0" alt="cool.gif" /> John do you catch all your fishes from the same spot or are they from various locations?

Cake or death?
September 23, 2009
7:30 pm
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johnpeten
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They all come from the same location the bay below my house.

Have now translated the newer French article. This contains a lot of very useful information and agrees with everything that I have discovered so far. This includes the many species that they encountered in Lake Peten. They found the Peten Molly, I haven't. They also mentioned a common cichlid that I have yet to discover. Amphilophus robertsoni, False firemouth cichlid. Once again available photos don't appear to be of the same fish.
A very useful comment made was that only one species of Thorichthys is found in any one location. Therefore no inbreeding. Colouration of a species can vary between locations.
They state that T. affinis has a false eye spot on the gill plate. Yet I have identical fish, some without the spot and some with.
My apparent pair that have taken up what appears to be a domestic arrangement follows what they said. The larger male excavates between the rocks, away from the weedy patches where the juveniles hang out. Then the smaller female hangs around outside waiting to do her domestic duties.

Also lots of other information including an in depth study on breeding. When I have cleaned it up I will send you a copy.

PS My 6 "Cichlasoma" salvini have now been moved to a new tank with 8 apartments(caves) available. Hopefully they will settle down without any squabbling. Freddy, Parachromis friedrichsthali is also with them as they don't bother each other.

September 24, 2009
12:55 pm
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retro_gk
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Glad to be of help.

I really like the colours on this fish, look forward to updates.

September 24, 2009
11:55 pm
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johnpeten
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Latest update on the T. affinis.

The small Mayan Cichlid has had enough of being beaten up by the pair of T. affinis and the larger Mayan. He has taken up residence in the central cave which should be in the neutral zone. However if he strays to either side he is in the doodoo.
He went to stretch his fins into T. affinis territory. First the female attacked(in the first photo) but he wasn't scared by this silly little girl so the male came out of the cave and joined in. Second photo. He stood his ground for a while and then decided that discretion was the better part of valor and slowly withdrew. While this was going on the large Mayan had come out of his cave to watch the fun and had a big grin on his face.

Hard to get perfect photos during a fight but I think you can see the inflated pouches and extended gill plates. In the second photo one can see the red interiors of the female's gills.

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September 27, 2009
6:58 pm
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Matt
Málaga, Spain
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Any sign of eggs yet John?

Cake or death?
September 27, 2009
7:17 pm
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johnpeten
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QUOTE (Matt @ Sep 27 2009, 12:41 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any sign of eggs yet John?


No, I think they are just practicing playing mothers and fathers.

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