Xenotilapia sp. 'kilesa' male in the aquarium of Benoît Jonas; France - Photo by Benoît Jonas.
Along the Congolese shore from Kalamie at least as far as the Kavala Islands, a Xenotilapia well known in the aquarium hobby under the name X. sp. 'kilesa' can be found. Whether this form is a distinct species or a geographical variant of X. melanogenys (former Enantiopus melanogenys) is not yet known.
Xenotilapia sp. 'kilesa' has a close resemblance with X. melanogenys, but X. sp. 'kilesa' has a shorter lower jaw and a shorter snout than X. melanogenys. The most obvious difference is the brightly yellow chin, lips and throat found in the males of X. sp. 'kilesa
The breeding territory of Xenotilapia sp. 'kilesa' seems to be a quite interesting mixture between X. melanogenys and X. ochrogenys. The territory of X. melanogenys consist of a saucer-shaped nest with a diameter of about 50 cm and the nest of X. ochrogenys consist of three to eight turrets built by heaping sand erected in a circle around the spawning site, which is a round saucer-shaped pit with a diameter of app. 10 cm. X. sp. 'kilesa' combine these two, resulting in a large territory in which the male makes several nests consisting of shallow pits with a diameter of app. 15 cm. Around these nests the male heaps sand turrets, sometimes over 20, all over his territory (Konings, 1998).
Neither Xenotilapia melanogenys nor X. ochrogenys has been found in the distributional range of X. sp. 'kilesa' and Konings mentions that if there exists anywhere among cichlids a species that could have originated by the hybridization of two other species, X. sp. 'kilesa' would be a good candidate (Konings, 1998).
© Copyright 2005 Thomas Andersen, all rights reserved
Andersen, Thomas. (November 01, 2005). "Xenotilapia sp. "kilesa"". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on March 19, 2019, from: https://www.cichlidae.com/section.php?id=98.