Common Name: Green-faced Lethrinops
Synonyms: Lethrinops intermedia, Trematocranus intermedius
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!
1999-2003 Lisa Boorman
All Rights Reserved
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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