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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