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Pelvicachromis pulcher

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Pelvicachromis pulcher is a freshwater fish of the cichlid family, endemic to Nigeria and Cameroon.[1] The species is popular amongst aquarium hobbyists,[1][2][3] and is most commonly sold under the name kribensis, although the species has other common names, including various derivatives of kribensis: krib, common krib and rainbow krib, along with rainbow cichlid and purple cichlid.[1][4]

In the wild, male P. pulcher grow to a maximum length of approximately 12.5 cm (4.9 in.) and a maximum weight of 9.5 g. Females are smaller and deeper bodied, growing to a maximum length of 8.1 cm (3.2 in.) and a maximum weight of 9.4 g.[5] Both sexes have a dark longitudinal stripe that runs from the caudal fin to the mouth and pink to red abdomens, the intensity of which changes during courtship and breeding. The dorsal and caudal fins also may bear gold-ringed eye spots or ocelli. Males show colour polymorphisms in some populations collected at single localities.[6] Juveniles are monomorphic until approximately 6 months of age.[7]

P. pulcher is native to southern Nigeria and to coastal areas of Cameroon, where it occurs in warm (24–26 °C, 75-79 °F), acidic to neutral (pH 5.6 – 6.2), soft water (12-22 mg L-1 [CaCO3]).[2][5] The species inhabits both slow and fast-moving water, though it is only found where patches of dense vegetation are available.[2] Other fish that share the habitat of P. pulcher include other Pelvicachromis species (Pelvicachromis taeniatus), other cichlid species (Chromidotilapia guntheri, Hemichromis cristatus and H. fasciatus, Tilapia mariae and T. zilli) along with Brycinus longipinnis and Aphyosemion species.[2] The species is prey for a number of rheophilic predators including Hepsetus odoe, Hydrocynus forskahlii and Lates niloticus (Nile perch).[5] In the natural habitat, P. pulcher have been observed excavating, defending and sheltering in caves dug underneath plants, and these holes are also used for breeding.[7] Not all P. pulcher, however, claim territories and many live in large, non-reproductive aggregates.[7][8]

Populations of P. pulcher also occur outside its natural range in Hawaii, USA as a by-product of the ornamental fish trade.[9]

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