||Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
||21 cm TL (male/unsexed); 16 cm TL (female)
benthopelagic; depth range 3 - 60 m
||Africa: southern Lake Malawi and upper Shire River.
Dorsal spines (total): 14-17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-13; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 9-11. Diagnosis: high number of gill-rakers on lower part of outer gill arch (36-39); short head, 32.3-35.8% of standard length; relatively anterior implantation of dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins; short premaxillary pedicel, 30.4-33.6% head length (Ref. 55925).
Description: relatively deep-bodied; teeth relatively small; adult specimens with blunt uni- or bicuspid outer oral jaw teeth, often worn off; sometimes with some weakly tricuspid teeth; inner oral jaw teeth unicuspid or weakly tricuspid; small specimens with clearly bicuspid outer dentition and tricuspid inner dentition; 3-4 series of scales on cheek; lower pharyngeal bone long and fine with long, slender, acute teeth, somewhat moveably attached, none enlarged; gill-rakers numerous, long and slender; 21-25 scales in upper part of lateral line, 14-19 in lower part; 5-7 scales between pectoral and pelvic fins (Ref. 55925).
Coloration: Live: arrangement of spots as in preserved specimens (Ref. 55925). Adult territorial males: general body color blue; ventral parts of head and body yellow, but with dark pigments in highly territorial males; individual body scales yellow anteriorly, blue on posterior edges, with the amount of yellow greater towards ventral parts of body; pectoral fins yellowish transparent; pelvic fins black with white leading edge; dorsal and caudal fins greyish blue with strong yellow-brown maculae and striae pattern; dorsal fin with broad white margin; proximal part of anal fin dark, distal part yellowish with white to yellow ocelli (Ref. 55925). Females: silvery with greenish hue on dorsal and dorso-lateral parts of head and body; dorsal and caudal fins yellowish transparent with dark maculae and striae pattern; anal fin transparent with pale yellow spots; pectoral and pelvic fins transparent (Ref. 55925). Color pattern of immature and non-territorial males intermediate between female and adult male pattern, with an increasing intensity of blue on the body and of black pigment on pelvic and anal fins with increasing territoriality (Ref. 55925). Preserved: Juveniles, females and non-territorial males: brown-yellowish with 3 spots: a suprapectoral spot on the upper lateral line, a supra-anal spot below the posterior part of the dorsal fin between upper and lower parts of the lateral line, and a caudal spot of which the major part is situated on the upper part of the caudal peduncle; all fins brownish yellow; dorsal and caudal fins with dark maculae; juveniles with traces of vertical bars (Ref. 55925). Territorial males: yellow brown to dark brown, darker on the dorsal parts; branchiostegal membranes and ventral parts of body anterior to pelvic fins black; dorsal fin dark brown with dark maculae and white lappets; caudal fin dark brown with dark maculae; ventral part of caudal fin black; pelvic fins black with white leading edge; anal fin black with white ventral margin; pectoral fins whitish (Ref. 55925).
||Found in sediment-rich areas (Ref. 5595) of the rocky habitat (Ref. 5595, 55925), the intermediate habitat, over sand, and in the open water (Ref. 5595). Feeds on plankton (Ref. 5595).
|IUCN Red List Status:
Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 22 June 2018 Ref. (120744)
|Threat to humans:
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