How Long Do African Cichlids Hold Eggs In Their Mouths?

Labidochromis caeruleus
Labidochromis caeruleus "Yellow" female with eggs in mouth from

How Long do African Cichlids Hold Eggs In Their Mouths?

Exploring the Reproductive Habits of African Cichlids

African cichlids are a popular breed of fish that are often kept as pets. These unique fish have many fascinating characteristics, including their reproductive habits. One of the most interesting traits is their ability to hold eggs in their mouths for a long period of time. So, just how long do African cichlids hold eggs in their mouths?

Mouth Brooding in African Cichlids

Mouth brooding is a reproductive technique commonly used by African cichlids. During this process, the female cichlid will take the eggs into her mouth and hold them there until they are ready to hatch. This method of reproduction has evolved as a way of keeping the eggs safe from predators. By holding the eggs in her mouth, the female cichlid is able to protect them from any threats.

How Long Can African Cichlids Hold Eggs in Their Mouths?

The amount of time that a female African cichlid will hold eggs in her mouth can vary depending on the species. In general, most species will hold the eggs for between two to three weeks. During this time, the female cichlid will not eat and will remain in one spot to protect the eggs. However, some species of cichlids have been known to hold eggs for as long as four weeks.


African cichlids are a fascinating species of fish that have many interesting traits. One of the most remarkable is their ability to hold eggs in their mouths for extended periods of time. Depending on the species, African cichlids can hold eggs in their mouths for between two and four weeks. This reproductive technique is a great example of the amazing adaptations that cichlids have evolved to survive in their environment.

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