José María Cid Ruiz
Julidochromis ornatus, a dwarf cichlid species endemic
to the rocky coastline of Africa’s Lake Tanganyika.
he golden Julie (Julidochromis ornatus) inhabits
areas along the rocky coast of Lake Tanganyika, where
it is one of the numerous endemic species in the lake.
The interaction of this cichlid with the labyrinth of
rocks that composes its natural habitat makes J. ornatus
a species with unique aspects, some of which can be
observed through its maintenance and breeding in the
J. ornatus belongs to one of the more than 35 genera
of endemic cichlids of Lake Tanganyika. The genus
Julidochromis currently includes J. ornatus, J. regani, J.
marlieri, J. transcriptus, J. dickfeldi, and the recent J.
marksmithi, which was described in 2014. Some genetic
studies seem to phylogenetically relate this genus to
the genera Telmatochromis and Chalinochromis. The
sizes range from 2½ inches ( 6 cm) in J. transcriptus to
6 inches ( 15 cm) in J. marlieri and J. regani. J. ornatus
in its natural environment reaches a size of just over 3
inches ( 8 cm).