sidguppy wrote:it's definitely a true vittatus if the headshape's right, because the "sp Zambia" and the "Shell" (if they're noty the same) often lack the stripe and have diagonal "scratches" superimposed over it.dencio, if yours lack the dark stripe, check for "scratches". if they have those, it's the 'shell'/zambia.
My experiences are different.
I admitt, I can't tell the brichardi from the vittatus by "headshape". May be you have more experiences to do so.
And I admitt, I've been keeping only the brichardi and the "sp Congo" by myself. I got them from Heinz Büscher, so I believe, they were, what he told me.
But as to the colouring and the pattern:
These fish are the chameleons amongst Tanganjika Cichlids!!
Except from bodyshape, they can change their "outfit" completely. From one second to the other. They can have that explicit dark stripe, they are known for. But they can show the scratches, you wrote about, as well. And if they do so, there ist not the ghost of the shadow of the stripe to be seen. The scratches can be dark or light, brown or almost orange, they can even lack the stripes and show up monochromic beige coloured.
It's really amazing.
So, I would never risk to tell one species (Telmatochromis) from the other by colour or pattern.