Dogtooth Cichlid: Some Interesting Facts

Dogtooth Cichlid Featured Image

Dogtooth Cichlid, also known as Afra Cichlid, is a small freshwater fish found in Lake Malawi in East Africa. It lives in rocky environments.

Its scientific name means “dogtooth cichlid” because of its sharp teeth.

Dogtooth Cichlid has a long body with blue and black stripes, but colors vary depending on where it’s from.

Some have yellow fins while others don’t have any yellow at all.

There are many color variations of this fish named after different locations like Chewere, Chinuni, Chitande, Chuanga, Likoma, Lumbila, Lundu, Lupingu, Mbenji, Metangula, Minos Reef, Msobo Ndumbi Njambe Nkhata Bay, and Nkolongwe.

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

Dogtooth Cichlid Interesting Facts

  • Dogtooth Cichlids, native to Lake Malawi in Africa, thrive in water with a pH between 8.0 to 8.5 and temperatures from 73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C).
  • These fish have sharp teeth, growing up to 4.0 inches (10.1 centimeters) long.
  • They are mouthbrooders, carrying eggs in their mouths for protection.
  • Color variations exist depending on location; some have yellow fins while others don’t.
  • Dogtooth Cichlids mature sexually between 6 to 8 months old.

Dogtooth Cichlid Habitat

Dogtooth Cichlid is native to Lake Malawi in Africa. It lives mainly in the central and northern parts of the lake.

This freshwater fish prefers to swim near the bottom (benthopelagic) and thrives in water with a pH range between 8.0 to 8.5.

The ideal hardness for this fish is around 15 dH, but it can adapt to various levels.

It’s usually found at depths ranging from 3 to 30 meters (10 to 100 feet), with water temperatures between 73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C).

Dogtooth Cichlids are tropical fish that inhabit areas with latitudes from 9°S to 15°S on Earth’s surface.

Water Temperature:73.4°F to 80.6°F (23°C to 27°C)
Water pH:8.0 to 8.5 pH
Water Hardness:Unknown

Dogtooth Cichlid Physical Characteristics

Size: 4.0 inches (10.1 centimeters)

Dogtooth Cichlid grows up to 4.0 inches (10.1 centimeters) long. This fish has 17 dorsal spines, 8 to 9 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 6 to 7 anal soft rays.

The body of this fish is moderately long and medium-depth. It has a rounded back and a straight front profile with even jaws.

Its body shape may change due to evisceration (removal of internal organs).

The tail narrows near the base of the fin. The teeth in its outer jaw rows are large and evenly spaced, shaped like canine teeth.

The size of these teeth decreases from the middle toward the end of both upper and lower jaws.

However, two teeth on each side of the lower jaw are larger than the others. Smaller teeth are found in posterior rows.

The coloration of the Dogtooth Cichlid is mostly dark brown with a black spot at the end of its gill cover (opercle). All fins are deep black too.

Dogtooth Cichlid Reproduction

Dogtooth Cichlids mature between 6 to 8 months. These fish are mouthbrooders, meaning the females carry their eggs in their mouths to protect them.

Males defend territories near caves, while females swim in the middle of the water to eat plankton.

Dogtooth Cichlid Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Cynotilapia afra
Also Known As:Dogtooth Cichlid, Afra Cichlid
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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