|male (front) and female (back)|
(W. E. Burgess, 1977)
Metriaclima lombardoi (W. E. Burgess, 1977)
Maylandia lombardoi, is a 13 cm (5 in) freshwater fish from the family Cichlidae. This mbuna species is popular in the aquarium hobby where it is sold under a variety of common names including: lombardoi, kenyi or kennyi. This species is sometimes seen in the genus Metriaclima owing to a dispute in which a minority of cichlid researchers do not consider Maylandia valid (see Maylandia for discussion.
It is endemic to the rocky shores of Mbenji Island, Lake Malawi in east Africa. The species is highly sexually dimorphic, females and juvenile males are pale white-blue with several blue-black vertical bands extending into the dorsal fin. Adult males turn bright yellow with faint brown bars crossing the body; fins are plain yellow with egg spots on the anal fin. Like most mbuna cichlids, this species is a maternal mouthbrooder. When mouthbrooding, females may defend a small territory and assume the colouration of males.
In the aquarium
Like other mbuna, these fishes can be very aggressive and males may end up killing other tankmates. To prevent casualties, the aquarium should be spacious and rocky with several hiding places. It can be kept with other cichlids of Lake Malawi, preferably other mbuna with the similar level of aggressiveness. A single male should be kept with several females. When breeding, females hold the eggs and fry in their mouths for a few weeks before releasing the free-swimming fry. When alarmed, the fry regain entry to the female's mouth by direct contact.
Images of Kenyi cichlids
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2006). "Maylandia lombardoi" in FishBase. 10 2006 version.
- Dick Mills, Aquarium Fish, Dorling Kindersly Books, 2000
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