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Appearance, size and sexual dimorphismEdit

Pink convict

A young male convict cichlid showing the leucistic colouration

The wild-type of the species has 8-9 black vertical bars on a blue-grey body, along with a dark blotch on the Operculum .[1] Juvenile convict cichlids are sexual dimorphism|monomorphic until they reach sexual maturity. Unusually for fish, the female is more highly coloured.[2] Along with being smaller, female convict cichlids have more intensely coloured black bands across the body and have pink to orange colouration in the ventral region and on the dorsal fin. The male is usually a tanish-grey. In contrast, male convict cichlids are larger, have more pointed ventral,dorsal fin and anal fins which often extend into filaments. In addition, older males frequently develop Vestigial structure|vestigial fatty lumps on their foreheads.The male color is mostly gray with light black stripe along the body. [3][4] The average Ichthyology terms standard length of breeding sized males in the wild ranged from 6.3-6.6 centimeters, while breeding sized females ranged from 4.2-5.5 centimeters.[2] The maximum standard length has been reported to be 10 centimeters, with total length near 12 centimeters.[1][5] Body weight has been reported to range from 34-36 grams (1.2-1.3 Ounce/oz).[1] Selective breeding has resulted in a Leucism|leucistic strain of convict cichlids[3] variously known as white convicts, pink convicts, gold convicts and A. nigrofasciatus "Kongo"[4], the dark barring of the wild type is absent in the leucistic strain.[1] The leucistic colouration is caused by a mutation in an autosomal gene and is recessively inherited.[6]


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