View Full Version : Kenyi Male?
01-03-2003, 12:11 AM
My son has had two Kenyi (Maylandi lombardoi) in his 125 gal tank for about 1 1/2 yrs. One is dominant and possibly the brightest yellow Kenyi I have ever seen with virtually no stripes visible. The other looks like a sub adult (pale yellow with clearly defined stripes). They both came from the same group at the pet store. Low and behold, they just had babies! Three are swimming around, and the one that we thought was the non-dominant male has a mouthful of eggs. They have set up shop in a corner of the tank under some lace rock and the dominant male is defending agressively! Is it common for a female to take on sub-adult male colors, even up to the point of laying and hatching?
The fry look like female kenyi, white with blue fins and dark stripes.
01-03-2003, 11:02 AM
I have never heard something like that happening to lombardoi s so I m not sure if u realy have two lombardoi s or that the second one (the female) is just an other female yellow Pseudotropheus species! But one thing I know for sure is that something like the case u describe can hapen betwen Ps. saulosi! In these species females can take the color of males and subdominant males the coloration of females! Take a look at this site to see what I mean www.vatoelvis.com/P_saulosi.html :)
P.S Once again sorry about my english, I m realy tryin as hard as I can! So in case u see big mistakes please let me know :wink: No hard feelings :lol: :lol: :lol:
01-04-2003, 01:34 AM
stefanos.f,thanks for the info. Your english is just fine! My daughter-in-law is Greek. Her parents moved here from Greece in the 50's, and she and all her brothers and sisters were born here. There is a fairly large Greek community in Pocatello, and they are really terrific people!
Hi Mbuniac, stefanos
While my experience with this species suggests that the coloration you describe is not a "common" phemonenon, lombardoi female <I> do </I> take on some male coloring, albeit not consistently, under at least two circumstances that I'm aware of: 1. In the prolonged absence of males. 2. While mouthbrooding.
Stefanos: What you describe with the saulosi (subdominant males taking on female coloration) is quite common among many species. I've had male <I> M. chipokae </I>, for example, that would turn quite literally in a second from the characteristic purple back to the female coloring at the appearance of the dominant male. Just another example of Nature equipping fauna with survival gear.
01-05-2003, 01:53 AM
Thanks for the info! She is definitely mouthbrooding. She has a mouth full of eggs, and popped out two more fry today. That makes 5 and looks like at least another 10 eggs in her mouth. The male is doing all the work as far as clearing out the site and defending it. She hardly ever spends any time there except to hatch the fry. He is not particulary aggressive toward her as he is toward others who approach the area, so why does she stay away? I put a fry cage (not sure if that's what it's called) next to the nesting site and the little ones swim in and out of it to pick up bits of food. At least it's a bit more protection, if I could just get them to stay in it!
Mbuna are by nature notoriously polygamous. So, while you apparently have only the pair in the tank, given that genetic disposition, the holding female will stay away from all other tank inhabitants, including her boyfriend-by-omission. In fact, she may yet become a target of aggression by her mate, particularly in her weakened state (consider that she's not eaten or has taken in very little food for the past few weeks). The male is protecting <I> his </I> territory, not <I> theirs:</I> Were there other females present, you can bet he'd be inticing another to the lair.
By the same token, you may have done the female a service by keeping her within the community (easy for me to say at this point): Among Mbuna especially, familiarity doesn't breed contempt nearly as much as strangeness does. Often a brooding female is removed from the main tank only to be returned after releasing fry and attacked as the invading foreigner.
You're obviously keeping a close eye on them, and I'm sure she'll come through unscathed.
01-05-2003, 07:27 PM
Hoping for the best. Keeping my fins, uh, fingers crossed. Thanks for the advice. This is my first experience with this and it is facinating!!! The last one that hatched last night is almost transparent in the back half, but still goes after the little spirulina particles with gusto.
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