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Xystichromis sp. "Kyoga flameback"


At 6cm, males will begin to display the red coloration for which they are known. This usually occurs at seven months of age. Male coloration indicates sexual maturity so the first attempt at spawning takes place soon there after. The act of spawning is typical of the haplochromines from the region. The males color intensifies while claiming and defending a small territory. This region is concentrated around some object (usually a rock). The male will dart at the ripe female and dance tilted to one side displaying his fully extended fins. She will eventually enter his territory and the two will begin circling each other. The male tilts so that his anal fin is laying on the substrate. The ocelli resemble the female's eggs in both color and size. As she nips at the egg spots, the male releases milt. She drops a small number of eggs and quickly turns to pick them up into her mouth. This process continues until she has fully expelled. She then leaves the spawning area to find a quiet area in which to brood her clutch. After 18 days (gestation period is dependant on water temperature) the larvae have fully absorbed their egg sac and the female releases her fry for a short spurt, to forage. Over the next two weeks the female releases her brood more often scooping them back into her buccal cavity when she feels they are in danger. The young will eventually be left to fend for themselves. Brood sizes are large and can number in excess of 50. To ensure survival, we raise the fry in a separate tank where they grow quickly on a diet of finely crushed flake and Cyclop-eeze