Hemichromis fasciatus Peters, 1857
Banded jewelfish
Hemichromis fasciatus
photo by Mody, K.

 Family:  Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
 Max. size:  20.4 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 300.0 g
 Environment:  benthopelagic; pH range: 7; dH range: 15, potamodromous
 Distribution:  Africa: widely distributed in West Africa, where it is known from most hydrographic basins (Ref. 53405). Also in the Nile basin, Lake Chad basin and in the upper Zambezi (Ref. 5644). Distribution of this species and overlap with Hemichromis elongatus unclear, but probably absent from the Congo basin (see also Ref. 43352, 52307, 53405, 81260). Introduced around 1970 in a stream fed by hot springs in Villach (Austria) (Ref. 59043).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 14-15; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-13; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-11. Diagnosis: 5 dark blotches or cross bars on sides, often alternating with narrower intercalary bars, the first blotch confluent with the opercular spot, the fifth on caudal-fin base; upper profile of snout straight or concave (Ref. 53405). Description: body cylindrical; premaxilla extremely protrusible; lower jaw distinctly prominent; outer jaw teeth mixed mono- and bicuspid, inner jaw teeth monocuspid, pharyngeal jaw teeth bicuspid; dentition reduced to an incomplete row of inner teeth in upper jaw; micro-gillrakers present; scales cycloid; caudal peduncle rather short (length 11.0-16.0% of standard length) (Ref. 53405). Coloration: live colour usually copper-red through olivaceous to dark brown on back; lower part of body orange-red, more pinkish on belly; large, irregular black blotch on upper area of opercle; 4-5 large, black blotches along midline of sides and 3-5 rows of small black spots in between in specimens over 100 mm SL; narrow, dark lacrymal band sometimes present; vertical fins light grey; soft parts of dorsal and anal fins with basal reticulate pattern; spinous part of dorsal fin bright red; soft part of dorsal and distal part of caudal fins edged with bright red; anterior 1/3 of pelvics blackish, other 2/3 light grey; pectoral fins hyaline (Ref. 53405). Juveniles without orange-red coloration of adults, showing traces of dark intercalary bars; subadults and adults also with dark intercalary bars when under stress (Ref. 53405).
 Biology:  Occurs in both forest and savannah biotopes (Ref. 5644); present in littoral riverine habitats and permanent floodplain lagoons with clear water. Feeds on shrimps, insects and small fishes. A nesting substrate spawner which breeds in the early summer. Used for tilapia control (Ref. 4537). Maximum TL was recorded at 26.5 cm.
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 04.03.91
 Modified by: Torres, Armi G. - 01.07.10
 Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 25.08.94

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