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Frontosa confusion


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Hi good people ,

I purchased myself 3, 7 Bar Frontosa's just before christmas , growing really well , 1 male , looks like 2 female...

what i'm confused about is the part where it has "Moba" , "Mpimwe", ect ect..

is this the region they came from? can they be interbred? , is there somewhere that people can point me to so i can read in depth on these fantastic fish?

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Moba, Mpimbwe etc refer to a collection point for that particular frontosa. You will find slight differences between some frontosa, although there are regions where frontosa are similar from a number of recognised collection points. Eg Kitumba, Moba, Tembwe are all Zaire frontosa.

7 bar frontosa are from Kigoma. It's the only recognised collection point for this frontosa.

You'll find info on this website on frontosa, but there is an Australian website dedicated to frontosa. There are others from OS as well.

They are a great fish. I love them. I have Kigoma, Burundi and Mpimbwe. I wish I had the space and cash for more.


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Yes Bruce has nailed it.

Just to expand, the differences between moba, kitumba, tembwe etc are where they were collected in the wild - I prefer the term

variant for this i.e. moba is one variant, kitumba is another. I like variant because it reminds me that the fish have 'variations' of some

sort due to the location in which they are caught (at least thats how I would remember it at first).

These variants also have their own morphological (physical) differences. i.e. burundi would be characterised by its large hump, whilst kitumba's

would be known for their intense purple/blue colouration.

If you want to know whether or not any animal can interbreed all you need to do is know whether the two organisms are the same species. If they are

they can interbreed. If they can't and they are listed scientifically under the same species, then science has not yet defined them properly.

A key defining point for what makes a a specific species a 'species' is the ability to reproduce.

How does this relate to variants?

Well, variants are species that are adapting to their given location, developing dominant traits that make them more fit for their environment and give them

a better chance of survival. In the case of fronnies, you have Cyphotilapia Gibberosa "kitumba" and Cyphotilapia Gibberosa "moba" different variants, same species.

Hope that helped,


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Well explained guys. Very informative.

totally agree,


in that case , could someone ID this Fronny for me please... i went back to the shop today and on the tank , this was written...

"Blue Mwimbi", correct me if im wrong , but i cant find anything about it when i google.

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It's definitely not an Mpimbwe, they have 6 black bars.

It has 7 bars, and it appears that the front band doesn't link across the top of the head, which suggests it's a 7 bar Kigoma. But the base of the front bar (below the eye) should be much broader, and the bar below the eye looks more like that of a Burundi.

Sometimes you get burundi frontosa (most common 6 bar front) with split bars, making them appear as though they are a 7 bar frontosa. These are inferior stock in my view (although some of these anomalies in cichlids turn up in wild caught fish), or are at least less desireable in the hobby. It can also suggest that the fish is a cross between a burundi and a kigoma.

If I saw this fish in the LFS, I wouldn't hesitate buying it, particularly since it has been labelled incorrectly.

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