Adult at Cape Kachese
An adult of Julidochromis dickfeldi at Cape Kachese, Lake Tanganyika [Zambia]. Photo by Ad Konings. determiner Pam Chin



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Julidochromis dickfeldi Staeck, 1975


Original description as Julidochromis dickfeldi:


  • Staeck, Wolfgang. 1975. "A new cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika: Julidochromis dickfeldi sp. n. (Pisces, Cichlidae)". Revue de Zoologie et Botanique Africaines. 89(4):981-986 (crc00115)

Taxonomic history:

  • Julidochromis dickfeldi, Staeck, 1975:981, original combination

Common names: Dickfeld's Julie (US).

Diagnosis: The nose is more pointed, there is a blue sheen over the body, and a distinct pattern in the dorsal and caudal fins.

Size: males 4" (10 cm) females 3" (7 cm).

Sex dimorphism: Dickfeldi is difficult to sex by coloration but typically the males are larger then females.

Type locality: Sumbu National Park region, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia.

Distribution: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and only found in the South West part of the lake, between Kapampa and Ndole (Konings, 1998).

Habitat: They prefer the rocky habitat, and found at depths of 5 - 20 meters, temperature between 23 - 27 degrees C., 7.8- 9.5 pH, water very hard that is highly oxygenated, algae is the only vegetation present. (Konings, 2002).


Conservation: Julidochromis dickfeldi is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2006). The habitat is stable at the moment.

Feeding: They are consistently listed with a diet of invertebrates, but also eat small snails. Algae is also ingested as they are picking foods off the rocky habitat and sponges. (Konings, 1998).

Breeding: Breed year round, a cave brooder that produces small clutches of fry, numbering around 35 - 50. Bi-parental care of eggs and fry until it is time to spawn again, and the fry are gently pushed away from the breeding area.

Aquaristics: Raise the juveniles in larger community tanks, of 220 liters (60 gallons) or more, with other Tanganyikan Cichlids around the same size. Allowing them to pair off naturally, confirmed pairs can then be removed to a smaller aquariums for breeding purposes. Pairs are easily housed in 40 - 80 liters (10 - 20 gallon) tanks, as the fry rearing and fry removal is more efficient in smaller aquaria. Fry and adults do well on freshly hatched baby brine shrimp, and a cichlid staple flake or pellet. Water changes should be frequent, and a pH of 8.5 or higher is best.

Comments: Is Julidochromis dickfeldi really a Julie? They are only found in the rocky habitat in the southwest part of the lake, and feed like Chalinochromis popelini. It has a different body shape from the other Julies, with more of a pointed nose. It has a wonderful blue sheen in the body as well as blue fringing on the dorsal and tail. The dorsal fin appears larger than in the other Julies while the 3 horizontal stripes are more intense than in ornatus. Dickfeldi seem to fall in between the giants Julies (J. regani and J. marlieri) and the dwarf Julies (J. transcriptus and J. ornatus) and usually are around 10 cm. (4 inches), the males are typically larger than females.

References (3):

  • Konings, Ad. 2002. "Enjoying Cichlids". Cichlid Press (crc00735)
  • Konings, Ad. 1998. "Tanganyika Cichlids In Their Natural Habitat". Cichlid Press (crc00734)
  • Staeck, Wolfgang. 1975. "A new cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika: Julidochromis dickfeldi sp. n. (Pisces, Cichlidae)". Revue de Zoologie et Botanique Africaines. 89(4):981-986 (crc00115)


Chin, Pam. (Dec 21, 2004). "Julidochromis dickfeldi Staeck, 1975". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: (crc10361)