Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher) dark and light colors

Kribpair, The pair, more colorful female in the front
Kribpair, the pair, more colorful female in the front

Ceramic artwork colors for a Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher)

Ceramic artwork colors for a Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher)
Ceramic artwork colors for a Kribensis (Pelvicachromis pulcher)

Kribensis Pelvicachromis pulcher


Pelvicachromis pulcher is a freshwater fish from the Cichlid family, native to Nigeria and Cameroon. The species is popular among aquarium hobbyists and is most commonly sold under the name kribensis, although the species has other common names, including different variants and color morphs of kribensis: krib, blue krib, red krib, super-red krib and rainbow krib, along with rainbow cichlid and purple cichlid.

Females are smaller and deeper, growing to a maximum length of 8.1 cm or 3.2 inches and a maximum weight of 9.4 g (0.33 oz). Both sexes have a dark longitudinal stripe running from the caudal fin to the mouth and pink to the red abdomen, the intensity of which changes during grazing and breeding. The dorsal and caudal fins may also have gold-ringed eye spots or ocelli. Males exhibit color polymorphisms in some populations collected in a single location. Juveniles are monomorphic up to about six months of age.

The species inhabits both slow and fast-moving water, although it can only be found where patches of dense vegetation are available. Given the suggestion in some aquarium literature that the species feeds on worms, crustaceans, and insects, the study of the stomach contents of wild P. pulcher suggests that this is incorrect. A survey by Nwadiaro in or around 1985 of 161 individuals found that the main food products were diatoms, green algae, higher plant sections, and blue-green algae. Although consumed, invertebrates have been found to be relatively rare food items for wild fish.

Males have pointed pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins, while female pelvic, dorsal, and anal fins are more round in shape. In comparison, the males are heavier, lack the golden glow to the dorsal fin, and have a more elongated, spade-shaped caudal fin. Despite the suggestion in the aquarium literature that species form monogamous pairs, the formation of polygynous harems is not unusual in the natural habitat. The species are secretive cave spawners (speleophils) although there is limited detailed information on their reproductive biology in the wild. In the wild, it is understood that the species breeds in holes excavated under aquatic and semi-aquatic plants.

Artificial caves are readily accepted as breeding sites in captivity, but both are excavated prior to egg-laying. Eggs are adhesive and are often put in rows of ca. 10 on the top surface of the cave and produce a clutch that ranges from 40 to 100 in size. All males and females have active brood care, usually lasting from 21 to 28 days, including patrolling, herding and feeding.

The female is primarily responsible for fry protection, while the male is primarily involved in territorial defense. As in all Pelvicachromis species, the gender ratio of female to male fry increases with pH. This ratio is also known to vary at different locations in the wild. P. pulcher breeding pairs have been known to adopt similar aged fry from specification in aquarium experiments, and it has been proposed that this may be an adaptation to minimize predication on their own fry.

Male color polymorphism can indicate behavioral differences. For example, red males from a single site have been shown to be more aggressive and more polygamous than yellow males from the same site.[8] In addition, the species has been shown to engage in cooperative territorial defense where multiple males protect a single territory.

References
Everything you need to know about Kribensis
Kribpair, The pair, more colorful female in the front

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