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ZAIRE BLUE MOBA FRONTOSA (Cyphotilapia gibberosa *Moba*)

ZAIRE BLUE MOBA FRONTOSA (Cyphotilapia gibberosa *Moba*)

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A second species of Cyphotilapia has been described in Lake Tanganyika,  Cyphotilapia gibberosa, and with that comes the Zaire Blue Frontosa Cichlid,  The distribution of this new species has remained in the southern half of Lake Tanganyika while Cyphotilapia frontosa is distributed in the northern half of the lake. 

This new species is clearly distinct from Cyphotilapia frontosa by a row of three scales between the upper and lower lateral lines (against 2 scales for Cyphotilapia frontosa). In addition, we can count more scales on the longitudinal line, fewer external teeth on the upper jaw, higher body, longer predorsal, longer dorsal fin base, and longer pectoral fin. They have rich bold pattern of 6 or 7 broad black bands, and also a peculiarity in gibberosa is the "mask of zorro", an interorbital band absent in Cyphotilapia frontosa

Among the most popular geographical varieties of gibberosa we have the Mpimbwe Blue, the Blue of Zambia, the Blue of Zaire. The frontal hump in Cyphotilapia gibberosa is also less marked in adulthood than in Cyphotilapia frontosa. The most colorful variety is the Zaire Blue Frontosa. It has the most blue, sometimes looking almost purple. Due to the difficulties in collection not all of these variants are exported, and some are only infrequently exported.

The Cyphotilapia gibberosa from the area from Kitumba to Kapampa is commonly called "Blue Zaire" because of its very pronounced bluish color. The "Blue Zaire" has contrasting black vertical bars and pronounced blue hues especially at the level of the head. There are Blue Zaires on the market, mainly from Moba, Kapampa, Kitumba and Mikula. These geographical varieties called "Blue Zaire" are among the most expensive.

It is gregarious and should be maintained in a group of at least five, ideally ten or more, specimens. Unlike many cichlids, males do not hold distinct territories, but form a distinct dominance hierarchy within which one or more alpha individuals develop depending on the size of the group and amount of available space

Juveniles are impossible to sex accurately but adult males grow larger, possess more extended fins, and develop a larger nuchal hump than females.

Prior to the description of Cyphotilapia gibberosa in 2003 the genus Cyphotilapia frontosa was considered monotypic for almost a century.

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