||Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
||15 cm TL (male/unsexed)
demersal; pH range: 8 - 9; dH range: 12 - 20; depth range 2 - 50 m,
||Africa: Lake Malawi (Ref. 119458), common in the southeastern and southwestern arms of the lake (Ref. 5684).
Dorsal spines (total): 17-19; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-9. Diagnosis: This species is distinguished from all other members in Pseudotropheus, except P. crabro, P. demasoni, and P. saulosi, by the presence of five or fewer vertical bars below the dorsal fin; most Pseudotropheus species either have no bars or have greater than five below the dorsal fin (Ref. 119458). It is distinguished from P. crabro, P. demasoni, and P. saulosi by a pale yellow to hyaline dorsal fin vs. dorsal fin heavily pigmented with black (Ref. 119458).
Description: Medium-sized to large mbuna, ovoid body with greatest depth between fourth to sixth dorsal spine (Ref. 119458). Dorsal body profile with gradual curve downward posteriorly, more pronounced towards caudal peduncle; ventral body profile almost straight between pelvic fins and base of anal fin with upward taper to caudal peduncle; dorsal head profile rounded, with smooth curve between interorbital and dorsal-fin origin; horizontal eye diameter greater than preorbital depth; eye, along horizontal axis, in center of head; snout straight to slightly concave in some individuals; isognathous jaws; tooth bands with 4-5 rows in upper jaw and 3-5 rows in lower; rows continuous through symphyses; teeth in anterior outer row bicuspid with posterior lateral teeth primarily unicuspid, teeth in inner rows tricuspid (Ref. 119458). Dorsal fin XVII-XIX spines and 9-10 soft rays; anal fin III spines and 8-9 soft rays; first 4-5 dorsal-fin spines gradually longer posteriorly; fourth spine about 2 times length of first spine; last 13 spines slightly longer posteriorly; last spine longest, about 3 times length of first spine; rayed portion of dorsal fin with subacuminate tip in females to pointed tip in males, third or fourth ray longest, to approximately 1/4 length of caudal fin in females and approximately 3/4 length of caudal in in males; anal-fin spines progressively longer posteriorly; third or fourth anal-fin ray longest, 1-2 length caudal fin in both sexes; 0-3 small yellow spots on posterior part of anal fin in females and 0-6 yellow spots on posterior part of anal fin in males; caudal fin subtruncate to slightly emarginate; pelvic fin to first or second spine of anal fin; pectoral fin moderately long and wing-shaped with upper pointed tip, length to vertical line through base of 12th or 14th dorsal-fin spine (Ref. 119458). Flank scales ctenoid with abrupt transition to small scales on breast; 32-35 lateral-line scales; cheek with 3-4 rows of small scales; caudal fin with tiny scales to 1/4 length; no scales on other fins (Ref. 119458). Gill rakers on first ceratobranchial 9-12 (Ref. 119458).
Colouration: Recently captured fish with dark brown head, white gular region with gray blotches; black spot on opercle with reflected blue highlights; laterally brown with 4 dark brown bars from dorsal fin to belly; caudal fin with yellow rays and clear membranes; anal fin brown anteriorly to first or second ray, hyaline posteriorly; 0-6 yellow ocelli in rayed portion; pectoral fins with yellow rays and clear membranes; pelvic fins black anteriorly, hyaline posteriorly (Ref. 119458). Female colouration similar to male, not as vivid (Ref. 119458).
||Lives mainly over sand where it finds refuge in the empty shells of the gastropod, Lanistes nyassanus. Also found in intermediate habitats and rarely over rocks. Usually territorial over gastropod shells. When found away from its shell, it is usually solitary or in small groups of less than 5 individuals. Feeds from sand, taking epipelic algae (Ref. 6256).
|IUCN Red List Status:
Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 20 June 2018 Ref. (120744)
|Threat to humans:
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