Name:    Haplochromis species #44  "thickskin"

Synonym:    Astatotilapia sp. "red tail"

Common name:    Haplochromis obliquidens

Location:    Lake Victoria

Adult size:    Male: 5 inches (12 cm),  Female: 3.5 inches (8 cm)

Diet:    insectivore


Personal notes: This is a cichlid from Lake Victoria that is usually incorrectly sold as Haplochromis obliquidens.  I have seen this fish also called Haplochromis species "44", Astatotilapia sp. "red tail", and Haplochromis sp. "thickskin".  Some hobbyists feel that this cichlid may actually be several different species.  The only thing that everyone seems to agree with is that this is a very aggressive Victorian cichlid.  Many times I've found that supposedly aggressive Victorians are really only aggressive to their own kind.  However, this Victorian seemed to want to do battle with anyone and everyone.  I'm guessing that this common Victorian may be responsible for the nasty reputation unfairly attributed to Victorians in general.

The females are not very colorful when compared to the males, although they are not quite as drab many of the other Victorians.   My male grew to about 4 1/2  inches (11 cm) long and the female about 3 1/2 inches (9 cm) long.  Although it is fairly common in the hobby, it is thought that it may be extinct in the wild.  

I first purchased this Victorian in 1997 and added one male and two females in 2002.  This cichlid is often confused with the Labrochromis ishmaeli or the Haplochromis brownae.  The true ishmaeli and brownae actually looks quite a bit different than the Hap #44.

The above male is a bit stressed at the ACA 2008 convention in Atlanta.

My adult male Haplochromis species #44 "thickskin" above

Two young adult females above at about 2 inches (5 cm) long.

Above are two juveniles growing out in my 180 gallon tank. They won't stay there because I don't want them to hybridize with the Astatotilapia latifasciata.  

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see also


Big Sky Cichlids

Greater Chicago Cichlid Association