Valid name:    Lithochromis rufus (Seehausen & Lippitsch 1998)

Synonym:    Haplochromis sp "red pseudonigricans"

Common name:    Red Pseudonigricans

Location:    Lake Victoria (Shadi Rocks and Mwanza Gulf in Tanzania)

Adult size:    Male: 4 1/2  inches (11 cm),  Female: 3 1/2 inches (8.5 cm)

Diet:   insects (omnivore)

The aquarium stain rufus I obtained may be misidentified.  They are not very similar to wild caught rufus.

This was one of the most rare Victorians in the hobby until a handful of wild imports became available in 2007.


Personal notes:  I purchased seven Lithochromis rufus approximately 3/4 inch (2 cm) at the Cincinnati club auction in April of 2003.   I understand that the Cincinnati breeder purchased his adults from a breeder at the ACA convention in 2001.  I believe that I ended up with 3 males and 4 females.   Even at a small size, the male exhibited extreme aggression toward the females as well as the subdominant males.  The females lived for only about a year, then the males went after each other until only one remmained.  The lone remaining male lived a couple more years.

In January of 2007, I once again found some one in Cincinnati that wanted to sell Lithochromis rufus.  I purchased a very old, no longer breeding "pair" and also a juvenile trio which was a spawn of the old adults.  Again, one the juvenile male harrassed one of the juvenile females to death.  The younger "pair" (yes, these are not pair-bonding cichlids) bred, but the female did not carry to term.

The pictures above show a mature 3" (7 cm) male Lithochromis rufus in two different moods.  Normally, the area around the caudal penduncal is a greenish color, but when excited, almost the entire fish turns a bright red.

Pictures below show an adult  male Lithochromis rufus

The above three pictures show a very old female rufus that has gotten very dark colored.

Picture above shows a juvenile female on the left                              and a juvenile male on the right.

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see also:


Big Sky Cichlids