Tramitichromis intermedius
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Common Name: Green-faced Lethrinops

Synonyms: Lethrinops intermedia, Trematocranus intermedius

Family: Cichlidae

Location: Found in Lake Malawi.  Is endemic to the southeast and southwest arms of the  lake.  Is found in shallow sheltered areas with sandy bottoms and reeds.  It feeds on insect larvae and other invertebrates.

Type Locality: Fort Johnson, Monkey Bay, Lake Malawi

Described: 1935 by Trewavas

Size: 16 cm (6.3")

Sexual Differences: Males have more colour and have lots of egg spots on their anal fin.  Their dorsal is more pointed and has a reddish-orange submarginal band above a white one.  The rest of the dorsal is spotted in a pattern similar to the caudal which is reddish orange, white and blue.  The body is a blue-green colour.  The shoulder area is flushed with red.  The anal fin is an orangey-red colour.  Females and subdominant males have 3 spots on the body with some barely noticeable vertical striping.

Method of Reproduction: Is a typical Malawian mouthbrooder.  Females tend to have large broods.  Males build large sand nests in the lake.

Feeding: Tramitichromis intermedius will accept all foods (flake frozen, and live) readily.

Experiences: I received 6 of these fish as juveniles from a club member and they were placed into a 48 gallon long tank.  This tank is kept at 78 F and has 30% water changes done on it weekly. The pH is approximately 7.8.  The tank has a gravel substrate and is filtered by an Aquaclear filter.  A few rocks are the only decoration.  There are no plants in this tank.  They were placed in with Cyrtocara moorii, Labidochromis caeruleus , Labidochromis sp "Mbamba Bay"  and Haplochromis (Astatotilapia) nyererei.  They fit in nicely and soon outgrew the other fry in the tank.  I'd noticed a few of the intermedius were bigger then the others and these soon developed some markings on their anal fins.  I was fairly sure then that I had some males developing in the tank.  They all still were showing the three spots typical of female colouration though.  They were approximately 2½-2¾" long at this time.  When they hit 3" one of the larger ones started showing some nice blue colouration.  He began to chase the chase the others around.  He decided on a rock on the right end of the tank to be his spot and would keep all the others away from their.  He soon took all the gravel away and made a nice nest there.  At this point I'd removed the electric yellows and the mooriis.  It was getting to be too many fish for the 48 gallon so something had to be moved.  I didn't think the intermedius were ready to deal with Pseudotropheus yet so I left them in the 48.  I fed the tank fairly heavy from this point on hoping to improve my chances of a spawn.  Finally one of the bigger fish that didn't get the markings on the anal fish was soon holding a large amount of eggs.  It looked like the skin under her jaw was stretched to the breaking point.  I left her in the tank hoping that the male or the other subdominant males would not harass her too much and make her spit or swallow her eggs.  She held for 16 days at which point I caught her and stripped out alot of fry.  I'd say there was over 50+ fry from a small 2½" female.  The fry were a bit smaller then the other Malawian fry I've dealt with before.  However this did not stop the fry from being fed in the same manner.  They were initially given crushed flake and also baby brine shrimp.  I haven't seen any spawning lately but the females are looking pretty fat (Turns out I had gotten 4 males and 2 females).  Maybe more spawns are in the future!

© Copyright 1999-2003 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved

Suggested Reading:

Malawi Cichlids in their natural habitat - 2nd edition Ad Konings

Fishkeepers Guide to African Cichlids by Paul Loiselle

The Cichlid Aquarium by Dr. Paul Loiselle

Success with Cichlids from Lake Malawi & Tanganyika by Sabine Melke, U. Erich Friese

Baensch Aquarium Atlas by Dr. Rüdiger Riehl & Hans A. Baensch

Guide to Malawi Cichlids (Back to Nature) by Ad Konings

Enjoying Cichlids by Ad Konings (editor)

Offshore Cichlids of Lake Malawi by George F. Turner

To see more references on cichlids:

Cichlid Book List

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