Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

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Didgeridoo
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Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Didgeridoo » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:28 pm

For starters, I'm not an ichthyologist. I have no credibility whatsoever in the scientific field. I'm simply a fish artist and I keep fish.

Julidochromis have always been one of my favourites to keep. Jul.marlieri was the first cichlid I ever bred and their behaviour and look, reminds me of saltwater wrasses. I've always loved their complex pair bonding and luckily I've always had great success.

I've kept several species of Julidochromis over the years and I lump them into three categories:
-Jul.marlieri/regani -largest of the julies growing up to 6inches
-Jul.transcriptus/ornatus -dwarf julies
-Jul.dickfeldi -oddity, not like the others

In the first line I mentioned I'm a fish artist for a reason. I'm highly detail oriented and I noticed something with the mouth structure between each of the species. The three groups above are separated not only by size but if you look closely, there's a big difference in the actual structure of the mouth. Illustrated below shows the mouth structure with the colour and patterning of the fish taken away as to not distract. As you can see, the mouth structures of J.regani and J.marlieri are quite different from that of the latter three species. The middle illustration is Gombe.

Image

I've heard and read a lot about the markings under the eye in the Gombe species. However, in a lot of individuals, the stripe under the eye is absent or not complete. Without concise evidence from pure, wild specimens, and genetic analysis, I don't see how this stripe constitutes enough evidence to lump it in with Jul. marlieri. See examples below of the colour variety in Gombe available in the hobby. The bottom photo is Ad Konings' photo of a wild specimen at Gombe.

Image

I've always labelled the Gombe fish as Julidochromis sp. "Gombe" as technically the fish isn't classified under marlieri or transcriptus, and is thus undescribed. (< as far as I know)

Thoughts? Natural hybrid?

(Please let it be known that the photo included in this post are for demonstration purposes only. I do not own these photos)

Didgeridoo
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Didgeridoo » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:28 pm

Julidochromis sp. "Gombe"
Image
Julidochromis marlieri "Kala" (wild)
Image
Julidochromis marlieri "Magara" (wild)
Image
I added both Kala and Magara J.marlieri because Magara is located above Gombe and Kala is located below.

Mark Smith
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Mark Smith » Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:37 pm

I've always thought that the "Gombi transcriptus" is in fact an undescribed species. Konings, in his 2nd edition Tanganyika book, 1997, indicates it is a variant of J. marlieri. Ifind this incorrect due to size and mouth structure differening substantially between the two.

It will be of interest to read how Konings will classify this species in his 3rd edition Tanganyika cichlids book, due out at the end of next month.

Didgeridoo
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Didgeridoo » Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:03 am

I too am looking forward to his new book!

The mouth structure is what really stood out most to me. Size is another factor too though, with Gombe being quite a bit smaller than the type locality of J.marlieri.

Here's a pic I snapped of my wild caught J.marlieri "Burundi" tonight.

Image

Julidochromis are certainly one of my favourite cichlids to keep. They fascinate me with their complex behaviours. I added some Ramshorn snails to the breeding pair's tank yesterday and it was amazing to see the wild behaviours come out. They knew exactly how to harvest the snails. The female also made sure no snail came near her cave. She grab each one and drop them in the corner where the male was waiting to dispatch each one. You can see the white scuff marks on his lips from dealing with the snails. haha. I am assuming on the sex of my fish. The male is considerably larger which would be incorrect for J.marlieri in most cases. However, the smaller one is the one in charge of the spawning cave and rarely comes out unless there's food. The larger one is out and takes no part in the spawning cave, keeping a watchful eye for any intruders…and me. I could be wrong about the sex but through observation this is my assumption.

Mark Smith
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Mark Smith » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:14 am

Great illustrations, by the way. I think there is still a lot that transpires with such fishes that we are just beginning to scratch the surface on. You are right that ordinarily it is the female that is the larger sex. There are always exceptions to the rule, and exceptions to behavior and, dare I say, possibility the ability for such cichlids (and other related species from the same tribe) to change their sex?

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Philippe Burnel
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Philippe Burnel » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:37 am

Did you have a look to Patrick Tawil's paper in Cichlid News vol 22 N° 3 (july 2013) ?

Philippe

Didgeridoo
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Didgeridoo » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:10 pm

Mark, thank you. I think if I had grown them up from juveniles the sizes of the sexes would be different. However I purchased them as wild caught adults.

Philippe, are you referring to this article? I actually started reading it last night. Haven't finished it yet. ;) Great read so far.
http://cichlidnews.com/issues/2013jul/Xornatus.html

Didgeridoo
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Didgeridoo » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:14 pm

Very good read. Interesting notes at the end about the possibility of Julidochromis to change sex.

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Philippe Burnel
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Philippe Burnel » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:53 pm

Seems to be This one


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Mark Smith
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Re: Julidochromis classifications - Gombe

Post by Mark Smith » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:46 pm

Unfortunately, Konings is still referring to Julidochromis sp. "Gombi Transcriptus" as a variant of J. marlieri in his new Tanganyikan cichlids book.

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