Guenther’s Mouthbrooder: Some Fascinating Facts

Guenther's Mouthbrooder Featured Image

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder is a cichlid from Africa. Previously, it was believed to have two subspecies.

One is common and found from Liberia to Equatorial Guinea and Niger. The other is critically endangered and only in Lake Barombi-ba-Kotto, Cameroon. However, this has been disputed.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder lives in lowland areas near coastal floodplains, savannahs, and forests. It prefers slow or still waters with submerged tree roots and fallen branches for cover.

This fish feeds on small invertebrates, algae, organic detritus (waste), and other tiny food items by sifting through the substrate (bottom material) like some Neotropical cichlids do.

The name honors German-British zoologist Albert Günther who worked at the British Museum of Natural History.

You can check out what this fish looks like over here.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder Interesting Facts

  • Guenther’s Mouthbrooder is a cichlid fish native to Africa, found in coastal basins and rivers.
  • Both parents participate in mouthbrooding, where they carry eggs in their mouths for protection.
  • This species inhabits slow or still waters with tree roots and branches for cover and feeds on small invertebrates and algae.
  • Males are larger than females and display unique colorations such as red spots near their eyes.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder Habitat

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder is found in Africa, specifically in coastal basins from Liberia to Equatorial Guinea. It also lives in the Niger and Bénoué Rivers. In the past, there were two subspecies recognized.

It’s a freshwater fish that swims close to the bottom and moves within rivers.

The ideal water conditions for this fish are a pH range of 6.0 to 8.0, a hardness range of 5 to 19 dH, and a temperature between 73.4°F to 77°F (23°C to 25°C).

This species thrives in tropical climates near the equator.

Water Temperature:73.4°F to 77°F (23°C to 25°C)
Water pH:6.0 to 8.0 pH
Water Hardness:5 to 19 dH

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder Physical Characteristics

Size: 7.1 inches (18.0 centimeters)

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder grows up to 7.1 inches (18.0 centimeters) long. It has a yellow to brownish iris, and its upper lip is white or pale blue.

When stressed, it has two dark bands on its body. It has a robust body when adult, with a prominent snout.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder has monocuspid teeth in its jaws and slender (bicuspid) teeth on the lower pharyngeal bone.

The predorsal profile of this fish rises steeply over the eyes and then goes straight toward the dorsal fin origin. There are 18 to 22 scales in the upper lateral line and 9 to 12 in the lower one.

Males are usually larger than females by 10% to 20%. They also have more elongated dorsal, anal, and pelvic rays. The body color is bronze-brown, paler on the belly side.

Males have more visible dark pigment around scale margins than females do. Young ones often have two dark bands on their bodies which may change into blotches as they grow older.

Males have two red spots near their eyes and gill covers while females display intensive red/pink or sometimes violet colors during courting periods.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder Reproduction

Guenther’s Mouthbrooders are unique because both parents care for their eggs by carrying them in their mouths (biparental mouthbrooding).

They lay eggs on flat surfaces before picking them up with their mouths. Both parents take care of the young after hatching.

Guenther’s Mouthbrooder Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Chromidotilapia guentheri
Also Known As:Guenther’s Mouthbrooder
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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