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Diagnostic Description

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Diagnosis: 3 black blotches on sides, the first on opercle, the second at midpoint of body, the third on caudal-fin base; upper profile of snout convex or straight (Ref. 53405).Description: body ovoid; lower jaw scarcely prominent in large individuals; outer and inner jaw teeth monocuspid, inner teeth forming an incomplete row on upper jaw and 2 incomplete rows (only medially) in lower jaw; pharyngeal jaw teeth bicuspid; micro-gillrakers present; scales cycloid (Ref. 53405).Coloration: ground colour olive-brown, with 3 black blotches on either side, first on gill cover, third on caudal-fin base; head with yellow or blue spots forming bands on cheeks and opercular region (sometimes continuing unto sides); opercular spot with green margin; lips and chin reddish; dorsal fin red-edged, with light submarginal band; anal fin light anteriorly, reddish posteriorly; proximal part of caudal fin yellowish, distal part bright red; upper margin of caudal fin red, with light submarginal band; pectorals transparent, hyaline or yellow; pelvics light, their anterior margin red or black (Ref. 53405).
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Recorder
Tobias Musschoot
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Diseases and Parasites

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Ichthyophonus Disease. Fungal diseases
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Allan Palacio
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Migration

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Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Crispina B. Binohlan
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Morphology

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Dorsal spines (total): 14 - 15; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 12; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8 - 9
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Tobias Musschoot
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Trophic Strategy

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Feeds on fish scales and insects (Ref. 4577).
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Pascualita Sa-a
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Biology

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Occurs in mud-bottomed and sand-bottomed canals (Ref. 5723); some distance inland from the coast, associated with areas of intact or recently disturbed forest cover. Considered the true 'jewel fish' of aquarists, this species is also used as an experimental animal by physiologists and ethologists (Ref. 5644). Attains a maximum of 12 cm in captivity. Aquarium keeping: aggressive; in pairs; minimum aquarium size 100 cm (Ref. 51539).
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Importance

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fisheries: of no interest
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African jewelfish

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The African jewelfish (Hemichromis bimaculatus), also known as jewel cichlid or jewelfish, is from the family Cichlidae.

Description

Hemichromis bimaculatus can grow up to 15 cm (6 in) long.[3] H. bimaculatus are red with fine "jewel-like" blue spots and three dark spots on the sides, the first on the opercle, the second in the middle of the body, the third at the base of the tail.[4]

These colorful fishes are popular among fishkeepers, but they are unsuitable for typical community aquariums because of their aggressive territorial behavior, especially when breeding.[3] West African Jewelfish are beautiful creatures.

Distribution and habitat

The species originates from West Africa (hence its name), with additional reports (possibly other Hemichromis species) from Middle Africa and the Nile Basin.[4] These fishes are found in rivers, stream and canals, especially in forested regions where vegetation overhangs the water surface.[3][4]

It has often been reported that H. bimaculatus, the true African jewelfish, is found throughout a large part of Africa, but this is–at least in part–because of taxonomic uncertainty.[4][5] It is certainly found in West Africa, but it remains unclear if it is the same species in Middle Africa and the Nile Basin.[4]

The same confusion exists elsewhere, as Hemichromis have been introduced to regions far from their native Africa. For example, it has commonly been reported that the true African jewelfish, H. bimaculatus, is the species introduced to the United States, specifically Florida (and spreading), but this involves the related H. letourneuxi.[6] Another relative that has become popular in the aquarium trade is H. lifalili, but it is easily recognized by lacking a dark spot at the base of the tail.[3]

In the aquarium

Water parameters

The African jewelfish needs slightly acidic water (generally pH 6.0-7.8) and warm water (72–82 °F or 22–28 °C) in order to thrive in captivity.[3] Because of the aggressive territorial behavior, it is often recommended keeping the species alone, but in large aquariums they can be kept with Congo tetras, Synodontis catfish and other robust species.[3] Nevertheless, while breeding it is generally recommended that the pair is isolated.[3]

Reproduction

When the African jewelfish is ready to breed, females will turn a deep red color to let the male know. The male and female will bond or jawlock and the male will release sperm on the eggs. The female will then lay the eggs on a flat surface. The female will protect her eggs and will kill anything that comes in close proximity. In a couple of days the eggs will hatch and the female will still protect them. The female can reproduce every three weeks. Jewel fish are 3 to 4 to 10 cm long.

Diet

The African Jewelfish are omnivorous. They feed on insects, crustaceans, and Caridina. Caridina are associated with shrimps and prawns. African Jewelfish can also eat some plants, such as algae and other weeds, as well as debris. When in captivity, African jewelfish can live on a varied diet of commercial frozen, live, flakes, and pellets as they usually accept mostly all forms of fish food. They also eat algae wafers and shrimp pellets. They can be easily compared to the bottom feeding fish in an aquarium, as they like to eat the algae and other debris that forms in the fish tank. African jewelfish are also known to eat their own young practicing filial cannibalism. They also enjoy live shrimp and do sometimes bite fingers.

References

  1. ^ Azeroual, A. & Lalèyè, P. (2010). "Hemichromis bimaculatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T182628A7930122. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T182628A7930122.en.
  2. ^ ITIS.gov
  3. ^ a b c d e f g SeriouslyFish: Hemichromis bimaculatus. SeriouslyFish at the Wayback Machine (archived May 28, 2013).
  4. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2014). "Hemichromis bimaculatus" in FishBase. December 2014 version.
  5. ^ Stiassny, M.L.J.; A. Lamboj; D. De Weirdt; and G.G. Teugels (2007). Cichlidae. p. 269-403 in: M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, West-Central Africa. Volume 2. Coll. faune et flore tropicales 42. Institut de recherche de développement, Paris, France, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Belgium. ISBN 9789074752213.
  6. ^ Nonindigenous Aquatic Species: Hemichromis letourneuxi . USGS. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
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African jewelfish: Brief Summary

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The African jewelfish (Hemichromis bimaculatus), also known as jewel cichlid or jewelfish, is from the family Cichlidae.

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