Hemichromis letourneuxi
Sauvage 1880
Family Cichlidae

Lateral view of African jewelfish
The photo above shows two African jewelfish. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection. Top: UF 186974 Bottom: UF 238087 Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The African jewelfish is a member of the cichlid and tilapia family. It has a moderately compressed and fusiform body that is straw brown to tan in color with areas of red pigment and bright blue spotting. Breeding individuals can become almost entirely red with brilliant bright blue spots, and both sexes exhibit a large black spot on the gill cover expressed as a single black blotch located just posterior to and slightly above a mid-lateral position. The anal fin has three spines and caudal fin is rounded with a densely scaled base. African jewelfish can be found in shallow waters of ponds, creeks, canals and drainage ditches. This species is usually associated with aquatic vegetation or submerged terrestrial plants.

Status & distribution

  • Status — Non-indigenous freshwater
  • Florida Distribution — Peninsula drainages
  • River Drainages — Tampa Bay, the Myakka or Peace River, Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee River, the Everglades and the Indian River
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