Hemichromis lifalili – Blood-Red Juwel Cichlid

The most striking feature of the Hemichromis lifalili is the bright red colour of this species, hence the name Blood-Red Jewel Cichlid.

Hemichromis lifalili – Blood-Red Juwel Cichlid

Hemichromis lifalili or Blood Red Jewel Cichlid was officially described in 1979 by Paul V. Loiselle. The genus name Hemichromis can be divided into two words. Hemi means “half” and chromis means “fish”. The species name lifalili is a local name for this species.


The most striking feature of Hemichromis lifalili is the bright red colour of this species. They also owe their common name to this feature: Blood Red Jewel Cichlid.

The males of this species can reach a total length of about 12 centimetres. The females stay a little smaller with about 9 to 10 centimetres.

In the trade, this species is sometimes confused with Hemichromis bimaculatus. It has a black dot on its gill cover, another halfway along the flank and a third on the caudal peduncle. Hemichromis lifalli is missing the third dot on its caudal peduncle.


The area of ​​origin of the Hemichromis lifalili includes various types of water features. These are usually slow-flowing rivers, lakes that arise in the bends of these rivers and swamps. They are found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Lake Tumba basin and in the upper Tshuapa River basin.

The water is characterized by poor visibility. The water turns brown due to the tannins of the leaves and is quite acidic. The temperature depends on the place of origin. The temperature around Lake Tumba is slightly higher, from about 25.5 to 33 degrees Celsius. The waters around Tshuapa River are well shaded and have a somewhat lower temperature of about 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. Due to the acidifying effect of the leaves and swamps, the pH is around pH 4.0 to 5.0.


John de Lange

Copyright images

Panamon Creel
Hristo Hristov



Last Updated on 30 December 2021 by John

Additional information





Common names

Blood-Red Juwel Cichlid

First described by


Breeding behaviour




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