Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Maylandia: In honour of Hans J. Mayland, German ictiologist (Ref. 45335); zebra: The name melabranchion from the Greek, meaning black fin to note the extension of the lateral black bars onto the dorsal fin (Ref. 27596).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 8.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19; depth range 6 - 28 m. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672); 8°S - 15°S
Africa: Lake Malawi in Malawi (Ref. 5595, 27596), including Likoma Island and Chizumulu Island (Ref. 5595).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 11.3 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5684)
(total): 16 - 19;
soft rays: 6 - 9. Diagnosis: The moderately sloped head, swollen rostral tip of the neurocranium, isognathous jaws, and the presence of bicuspid teeth in the outer rows of the jaws place this species in Maylandia (Ref. 27596). The absence of any interrupted pigment in the pale blue dorsal fin in combination with black bars on a blue ground colour distinguish this species from all other members of the genus (Ref. 27596).
Found in rocky areas which may be sediment-free and shallow or sediment-rich at somewhat deeper levels. Feeds at right angles with the substrate by combing loose material from the biocover. Also feeds on plankton in the open water (Ref. 5595).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Produces up to 60 eggs.
Stauffer, J.R. Jr., N.J. Bowers, K.A. Kellogg and K.R. McKaye, 1997. A revision of the blue-black Pseudotropheus zebra (Teleostei: Cichlidae) complex from Lake Malawi, Africa, with a description of a new genus and ten new species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 148:189-230. (Ref. 27596)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Aquarium: highly commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.00703 - 0.03260), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.3 ±0.1 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100) .