as at 1st June 2010.
By Norm Halliwell.

Around mid 1995 I decided to look into those cichlid species no longer seen in aquarist or retailer tanks in order that a better picture is given as to what was occurring with these fish. I published these comments with a list of endangered cichlid varieties in Pet Aquariums and Water Gardens magazine in Dec’95/Jan’96 of that time, that showed 42 species, and 1 genus of cichlids (with photographs and information about them) that were considered by me to be endangered at that time, as I felt I was more qualified to do this than any other person at the time.

From this list of 42 species, and 1 genus, there has been 21 species, and 1 genus come back into consideration as of today. So about 50%. The rest I consider to be almost extinct in Australia, which is a pity, as the authorities will never allow their import again The species are listed below for your consideration

Current status (Nov.08)
Hoplarchus psitticus now considered extinct in Australia Extinct
Melanochromis labrosus “ “
Haplochromis “red sided symnodees” “ “
Aequidens itanyii “ “
Lamprologus cunningtoni “ “
Heros seiboldii “ “
Telmatochromis temporalis “ “
Neolamprologus pleurmaculatus “ “
Astatotilapia niger “ “
Heros atromaculatum “ “
Heros cyanoguttatum “ “
Heros motoguense “ “
Heros spinnosissimum “ “
Astatotilapia straelini “ “
Geophagus daemon “ “
Teleogramma brichardi “ “
Aequidens coeruleopunctatus “ “
Aequidens paraguayensis (now A. vittatus) “ “
Aequidens tetrameras “ “
Heros kraussii “ “
Neolamprologus “walteri” (now called N. falcicula) Endangered still endangered

Neolamprologus buescheri Extra rare extra rare

Protomelas annectens Rare rare
Placidochromis johnstoni Extra rare extinct
“ “ “solo” “ extra rare
Lepidiolamprologus nkambae “ “
Heros uropthalmus Rare rare
Copacichromis quadrimaculatus/trimaculatus Extra rare Extra rare
Protomelas taeniolatus “fire blue” “ “
Hemitilapia oxyrhynchus “ “
Heros longimanus “ “
Pseudotropheus zebra “red top from Namalengi Is. Common common
Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor “ almost extinct
Heros umbrifferum “ rare
Aequidens rivulatus “white band” Extra rare extra rare
Nannochromis transvestitus Endangered endangered/extinct
Telmatochromis dhonti “ endangered
Petrochromis trewavasae NOW ALLOWED IMPORT N/A
Xenotilapia flavipinnis Extra rare Extra rare
Heros zonatum “ “
Biotodoma cupido Endangered endangered
Crenicichlas spp. Now common to extra rare in some species.


If anybody knows of any of these species being available they should tell someone from the Society so that they can be purchased under their new breeders program, in the hope of getting large numbers of them bred for other hobbyists to enjoy. These “extinct” species have been lost to the hobby/trade due in part to the inability of aquarists generally in maintaining them for long enough periods of time, in order that enough progeny is made available for all hobbyists to keep, breed, and enjoy.

I followed this article up with another, also in PA & WG magazine, and again with photos and comment, in Aug/Sept’96, that listed some further 15 species and 2 genus that I considered to be endangered or lost at that point in time. The species were:
Current Status (Nov’.08)
Mylochromis (old name Maravichromis) epichorialis Now Extinct or close to it
“ “ ericotaenia Now Rare or close to it
Placidochromis miloma (Super VC 10) “
Copadichromis mloto spp. Extra rare
Mylochromis (Maravichromis) obtusus Now extinct
Stigmatochromis woodi (only one colony now left in existence in Australia)
Labidochromis pallidus/mylodon Now extinct
Melanochromis paralellus Extra rare to almost extinct
Petrotilapia tridentiger “ “
Pseudotropheus lucerna Extinct
“ microstoma “
“ williamsi “
“ patricki “
Limnotilapia dardennei “
Neolamprologus boulengeri “
Lobochilotes labiatum “
Protomelas spilonotus spp. Getting rarer

This meant that some 57 species and 3 genera had a number of problems with them when it comes to keeping the species alive in the Industry. Only one species has been allowed official import status and that is Petrochromis trewavasae which was added to the import list in early 1998 at a meeting in which I attended on behalf of the Industry.

Again in Feb’99 I listed another 22 species and 2 genera that had deteriorated to a point that they were now classified as Endangered in Australia. This therefore meant that a total of 79 species and 5 genera of cichlids were now felt to be endangered in one form or another. These last 22 species and 2 genera are listed below, and their current status is shown beside them.
Current Status (Nov’08)
Neolamprologus toae probably extinct
Pseudotropheus aurora common
Pseudotropheus so. “tropheops black dorsal” Extra rare
Pseudotropheus sp.elongatus ornatus Extinct
Nimbochromis linni Almost extinct, but I heard they are being bred again.
Lepidiolamprologus elongatus Extra rare
Callochromis macrops Rare
“ melanostigma “
Pseudotropheus livingstoni “likoma” (usually called P.elegans) Extinct
“ “ Probably extinct due to hybridization
Otopharynx heterodon Extinct
“ auromarginatus “
Steatocranus tinanti Extra rare
Heros (Thorichthys) aureum Extinct
“ “ ellioti “ (since been revived due to some specimens coming available)
“ popenoi “
Geophagus (Satanoperca) jurapari Rare
Gymnogeophagus australis/meridionalis Extinct
Geophagus steindackneri (Red Humps) Common (becoming very hard to find of late-Jan.2010)
Etroplus suratensis (Green Chromide) Extra rare (considered endangered)
“ maculatus (ornage chromide) extra rare (considered endangered)
“ “ “Orange Form” Endangered ( “ “ “ “ “ “ )
Mylochromis (Maravichromis) incola “

So to summarize, up until 1St June 2010, there had been 80 species and 3 genera that were considered to be endangered at that time, and as of 1st June 2010, only 50% of them are considered to be still in the hobby right now. There are 40 species considered extinct, 31 species considered rare or extra rare, 6 species are common and 6 species are still endangered. This is a woeful situation for cichlids to be in at this point in time

This is a very disturbing situation that all Cichlid Societies and their members should be trying to rectify, by seeking out these fish, from wherever they may be, and to try and breed them for the rest of future aquarists to enjoy. If we do not take good care of the species under our control, we will be doing the Government bureaucrats work for them, by letting the species dwindle away to a point of “no return”, because I am very very doubtful that any of them will be allowed import at any time in near future. It will be up to you all to look out for these species and to try and make sure that no other species are lost in the same manner.

Since all of these articles have been published I again made up a list of other species that were considered as endangered as of February 2000, but I will leave that list and another to be compiled by me up to this present time for another issue.


Regards Norm Halliwell