Dogtooth Cichlid (Cynotilapia afra)

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Dogtooth Cichlid

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Dogtooth Cichlid ("Lundu")

Cynotilapia afra

208 Litres (55 US G.)

7.6-10.2cm (3-4 ")




7.5 - 9.0

25 -26 °C (77-78.8°F)

10-25 °d

1:3 M:F

Pellet Foods
Live Foods

8-12 years



Additional names

Dogtooth Cichlid, Red Top Afra, White Top Afra

Additional scientific names

Hemichromis afer, Paratilapia afra


Males are striped with six or seven black stripes and have 3-4 egg spots on their anal fin. Females have no stripes and paler in colour. They are a mouthbrooding Cichlid.

Tank compatibility[edit]

The males are very territorial and must be kept in large spacious tanks only to be housed with other Malawi Cichlids. If housed with other species of Cichlid, they must be in a considerable number to prevent the male singling out any individual and fatally wounding them.


In the wild they feed on plankton. Feed with similar foods such as krill and Cichlid pellets.

Feeding regime[edit]

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics[edit]

They prefer a spacious tank with plenty of rocks and caves.


Males highly territorial towards other tank mates. They will dig a hole underneath rocks and guard it fiercely. Females are less so and will shoal together in the middle of the tank.


Colouration varies depending on where the Afra is located in the lake in Malawi. All males display vertical black stripes down their bodies and mostly a rich blue colour, females have no stripes and are paler in colour.

Species Variations[edit]

These Cichlids are found throughout Lake Malawi with different colour variations (see identification), these are the known variations:
C.afra (Chewere), C.afra (Chinuni), C.afra (Chitande), C.afra (Chuanga), C.afra (Cobue), C.afra (Jalo Reef), C.afra (Likoma), C.afra (Lumbila), C.afra (Lundu), C.afra (Lupingu), C.afra (Mbenji), C.afra (Metangula), C.afra (Minos Reef), C.afra (Msobo), C.afra (Ndumbi), C.afra (Njambe), C.afra (Nkhata Bay), C.afra (Nkolongwe)

Species Notes[edit]

Cynotilapia roughly translates to Dogtooth Cichlid. This is due to the widely spaced, sharply pointed unicuspid teeth which are unique among the Lake Malawi flock. 'Trade' names, such as Afra edwardi, are sometimes still seen. Other descriptive names are often seen, i.e. Afra White Top, Afra Red Top, Afra Orange Back. These descriptive names reflect the differing colouration patterns found within the various locational populations of this species. A much more accurate method for communication is to simply list the collection location. For example; instead of C. Afra orange back use C. Afra Cobue(Cobwe).


External links[edit]