Featherfins in Their Natural Habitat The so-called “featherfins” are among the most spectacular cichlids from Lake Tanganyika. “Featherfins” is the collective common name for cichlids of the genera Ophthalmotilapia, Cyathopharynx, Cunningtonia, and Aulonocranus. Males of all these mouthbrooding species—eight in total with many different variants—are characterized by elongate pelvic fins with yellow tips. The interesting part of the breeding technique of most featherfin species involves the function of these yellow tips: they resemble eggs in some species, and probably function as egg-dummies in order to ensure fertilization of the real eggs inside the female's mouth. Featherfins have fascinated aquarists ever since they were first exported from Lake Tanganyika in the 1970s. It may have been their “fairytale” appearance, or their spectacular coloration, that immediately appealed to hobbyists.