Xenotilapia ochrogenys „Ndole“
Xenotilapia ochrogenys Ndole grows up to 12 cm of length. Males belong to most beautiful members of the genus, being very colourful and having black spots on the sides of their bodies. As it has already been mentioned, they border their territory with little towers of sand during spawn period. There are usually about 30 offspring from a spawn.
Xenotilapia ochrogenys Mzuri
Xenotilapia papilio – This species also consists of several colour forms.
A group of fish, most often called Sunflower, has usually got a yellow head- or , at least, a part of it. This yellow colour changes into light brown on the body. They have a significant pattern on the dorsal fin. It either looks like a peacock´s eye or is set into different patterns, which are significant, too.
Xenotilapia papilio Isanga
Xenotilapia papilio Tembwe
One of the most beautiful members of the genus – Anyway, I dare to say from the whole lake, too – is X. papilio from Tembwe area. We cannot, unfortunately, expect this fish to be bred widely in the upcoming years, since X. papilio Tembwe belongs to the fish which are really difficult to breed. We have to consider transport shock they suffer, the fact they can get frightened easily, the fact of inner species aggressiveness etc.
When spawning, a male can push the rest of the group into a quarter of the tank´s space to have a quiet condition for the act. Nevertheless, a female very rarely manages to carry the larvae to the handover time of the lay because the aggressiveness of the male diminishes gradually after spawning and the couple joins the group. Belligerent behaviour does not help eggs to develop in the right way at all. A carrying female is either frustrated by consistent aggressiveness in the group or it causes fights by itself to secure a larger territory.
I have made a certain success in breeding just couples. In such a case, parents are usually very timid and get frightened easily, which can sometimes lead to a stress ending in the destruction of a lay. I must say that there were problems even when I tried to put them together with some tolerant species. For example, I noticed fights between a X. papilio Tembwe male defending his territory for the carrying female and P. nigripinnis Blue Neon male.
Xenotilapia nigrolabiata Red Princess