Speaking at the GCCA Cichlid Classic May 23rd and 24th

I’ll be presenting two talks at the GCCA Cichlid Classic in Chicago May 23rd-24th. One will focus on broadscale evolutionary patterns in cichlids while the other will revolve around research my collaborators and I have done on the Nile perch invasion of Lake Victoria. Come check out the show and the talks, it should be a good time and I hope to see you there. More info on the convention and my talks are below:


Friday May 23rd 8:30 pm- Current Cichlid Research: Focus on new findings about cichlid evolution.

Saturday May 24th 1pm- The Lake Victorian Extinction Revisited.

“Cichlasoma” grammodes also known as the Sieve Cichlid for the lines and dots on its face.

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Speaking at The Atlanta Area Aquarium Association Nov. 2nd

I will be speaking on my fieldwork with Costa Rican cichlids at the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association on November 2nd at 1:30 pm at the Fernbank Science center. Come check it out and learn a bit about  the biology and keeping these cool fish. Address to for the meeting location is below:

156 Heaton Park Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307

Tomocichla tuba male in the Rio Frio, CR

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Speaking at Sacramento Aquarium Society Saturday 7/6/13

I will be presenting to the Sacramento Aquarium society this Saturday about keeping the smaller species of Central American cichlids in the captivity. The talk will discuss the ecology, husbandry, and evolutionary relationships of these fish.

Talk will begin at 7pm at the Round Table Pizza at the below address. Feel free to stop by even if you are not a member of the club.

Round Table Pizza
9500 Greenback Lane
Folsom, CA
(916) 989-1133

Pair of Cryptoheros septemfasciatus in the Rio San Jose, CR

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Speaking 2 GCCA May 19, 2013: Keeping the Cichlids of Costa Rica

I will be speaking tomorrow at the Greater Chicago Cichlid Association meeting on the fishes of Costa Rica. The meeting begins at 6pm at the Double Tree in Downers Grove. Feel free to stop by and check out the talk. Address details below:

Doubletree Hotel Downers Grove
2111 Butterfield Rd.
Downers Grove, Illinois, 60515

Female Cryptoheros septemfasciatus from the Rio Corinto, Costa Rica

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Heros notatus- The Spotted Severum

I recently was able to get a wild group of Heros notatus, the Spotted Severum, from Guyana. I’ve never kept a Heros species before, so I was quite excited to give this South American heroine cichlid a try.

Heros notatus occurs in Brazil, French Guinea, and Guyana and has gained popularity in recent years as imports of this species have been more frequent. I could definitely see this species becoming more popular in the hobby as the fish is a beautiful olive color with orange-red fins and a bright red eye. Males also get a orange cheek and many bronze highlights along the body while females are less colorful. While both male and female have spots along the flank, leading to the name Spotted Severum, the spotting is much more pronounced on the males of this species. Males also have intense spotting and som squamation on the cheek which is much less and sometimes entirely absent on females.

A large male Heros notatus photographed at ACA 2012. One can see the nice spotting and bronze and orange highlights of this attractive species.

I’ve not found Heros notatus to be a difficult fish to keep. They are a little shy and take some time to acclimate to new conditions, but once they come around are quite a robust and easy to keep species. They are not fussy when it comes to water chemistry or diet and are easily weened onto prepared foods. Overall, it is a very peaceful and mild fish, with occasional squabbles occurring, but nothing that occurs in injury. I am able to maintain a breeding group of five in a 55 gallon. This species does need clean water, so 50% water changes a week is recommended.

The Heros notatus I got were decent size, around 3.5-4″. Overall this species can grow to 7-8″. I was quite surprised when they spawned as I didn’t quite think they were at maturity yet, but I was wrong. I was also surprised that they spawned in regular tap water! I was certain that I would have to lover the hardness to get them to spawn, but fortunately I didn’t have to play with the water chemistry.

Pair of Heros notatus (male in background) guarding fry.

While I decorated the tank with driftwood and plants (I know, I actually had a planted tank  for once!) the Heros notatus where quite happy spawning on the flower pot. While these are young fish, they still had a fairly large spawn of over 100 eggs. I’ve found that Heros notatus are fairly reliable parents and even though this was the first spawn for these individuals they successfully raised their offspring to the free swimming stage and guarded them diligently against the other three Spotted Severum in the tank.

While the fry are tiny, they are capable of consuming baby brine shrimp on their first day free swimming and grow fairly quickly. At first, I was amazed of was how quickly this species spawns, but as my young fish have grown a bit, it became evident that it really wasn’t that quickly, I just had one male and he was switching females every two weeks! Talk about a lucky guy.

My male Heros notatus is living the dream as he is the lone male of my group of 5.

Overall, I would recommend you try Heros notatus if you see it for sale. If you’ve kept and enjoyed a Heros species before, this may be one you haven’t had a chance to keep yet and should give a try. I’m fairly sure this fish will see a rise in popularity in the near future as it is easy to keep and breed and is a nice mild mannered species that would mix well in a South American community tank.

Heros notatus female guarding fry.

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Presentation at WCBSURC in San Diego April 20th

I will be speaking at the West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference (WCBSURC for short, even though this is the longest acronym ever!) April 20th at Point Loma Nazerene University in San Diego. I will be discussing my research on the rates of evolution in Tanganyikan cichlids. My presentation is at 2:45 in the BAC102 room. As always your presence and heckling are welcomed!

Male Callochromis melanostigma, a Tanganyikan cichlid

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Speaking at California St. University, Sacramento Student Research Symposium Friday, March 1st

I will be giving a brief talk on my research on mouthbrooding in Tanganyikan cichlids this Friday, March 1st at the Sacramento State University Student Research Symposium. My talk will be at 1:45 in the California Room which is on the third floor of the University Union.

Altolamprologus compressiceps

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