Lake Malawi Cichlid Colours

Lake malawi cichlid colours

The Peacock Cichlids (Aulonocara)

Lake malawi cichlid coloursPeacock cichlids are a jewel of Lake Malawi, often referred to as the Peacock cichlid, the Aulonocara is essentially one fish which has many vibrant colour variants depending on where it has come from in the lake although some are very similar to others. It is quite common to have them cross breed due to females all looking almost identical and are just grey in colour. This can result in some quite wonderful looking fish which are normally referred to as “OB Peacock”. Technically these are hybrid however if  we want to start getting picky, aren’t all of these fish hybrids as they are all one fish but have evolved and become different colour formations over the years.

Haps (Haplochromis)

hapsHaps are evolved lookalikes of one of the biggest genus locally known as Mbuna. In reality they ain’t exactly your typical Mbuna. So in a desperate attempt for a sexy or fancy name they have been called Haps. They are  non-Mbuna flock that are informally called Haps because many of these fish once belonged to the broad genus Haplochromis Hilgendorf. unlike the vegetarian Mbuna, Haps are piscivores. Though may say that there  are some exceptions to this generalisation, the general consensus is tha these do well on a piscovore’s diet than the later. Haps are aggressive, but not as aggressive as the vegetarian Mbuna. They have long, slender, almost torpedo-like bodies, and cruise the open water. Most of these fish are silver or gray when small, and the males become very brightly colored as they mature. Females typically remain without colour.

Mbuna Cichlids

lake malawiMalawi’s Rock-dwelling Cichlids that live among large piles of rocks along the shoreline mostly in Cape Maclear. Mbuna cichlids are Cape Maclear’s largest group of it’s kind.They are usually seen in large groups, but are by no means a schooling fish. In Cape Maclear area of Lake Malawi, 20 fish per square meter is not uncommon to notice. Both Mbuna cichlid species are unusually colourful, whereas typically, only males have distinct and variant colours when light settings are suitable, however from a distance they will look like they have one yellowish/golden color. They are very colourful with bright patterns of horizontal stripes or vertical bars. Mbuna are smaller and tend to have flat faces,suitable for foraging and scraping algae from rocks of Cape Maclear.