Species Article: Other Cichlids

Astatotilapia desfontainii

by Greg Steeves

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Astatotilapia desfontainii is a small cichlid of 15cm. The base color of mature males is an unassuming olive-green but each scale along the flank has a small dot of reflective and bright blue-green coloration. This color splash allows the fish to appear totally different depending on the angle positioned to a light source.

This extremely rare gem was found in Tunisia and may now be extinct in the wild. To our knowledge, there were only four adult fish in captivity in all of North America a year ago, but now the offspring of these fish have been spread from coast to coast and to Europe, to people that share our interest in preserving and promoting the survival of this species. A colony has also been sent to a well-known scientist at the New York Aquarium.

Cichlid News Magazine has published our full account on these amazing fish in their April, 2009 issue (vol. 18, #2).


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