Name:   Astatotilapia calliptera "Thumbi East Island"  (Gunther, 1894)

Synonym:    Haplochromis callipterus

Not so Common name:    Eastern Happy

Location:    In the rivers around Lake Malawi and near Thumbi East Island in Lake Malawi

Adult size:    males: 5 inches (13 cm),   Females: 4 inches (10 cm)

Diet:    omnivore ( invertebrates, algae, plants, small fishes, plankton)


Personal notes:  Astatotilapia calliptera is actually a Malawi cichlid, often mis-identified as a Lake Victoria cichlid due to the genus name and it's physical appearance  The blue lips and the line through the eye are definitely common Victorian cichlid traits.  I was sold this fish as the victorian Astatoreochromis alluaudi which seems to be a fairly common mistake due to the similarity between these two species.  This is an aggressive fish best kept in a larger aquarium.  There is also a blue Astatotilapia calliptera found around Chisumulu which I obtained in 2013.  Astatotilapia calliptera is found in shallow water with a sand bottom and Vallisneria plants.  

Above is the dominant male.

Below is the male's "preferred" female.

Below left is the dominant male and on the right the female in the breeder tank.

The above female released her fry in January of 2008.  The fry below are looking for protection in the females mouth.  The female is an excellent mother.

As you can see below, the male has a redish "forehead".

As juveniles, the male and female are difficult to tell apart.


Based upon the article in the Cichlid News (Oct 2007) it appears that I have the calliptera from around Thumbi East Island.  

Next Malawi cichlid <== Astatotilapia calliptera "Chisumulu"                        HOME

see also:         Cichlid News Magazine, October 2007,  Volume 16 No. 4



Malawi Mayhem

Malawi Cichlids