Nkhomo-benga peacock

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Nkhomo-benga peacock
Peacock sunshine.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cichliformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Aulonocara
A. baenschi
Binomial name
Aulonocara baenschi

The nkhomo-benga peacock (Aulonocara baenschi), also known as the new yellow regal peacock, is a species of haplochromine cichlid which is endemic to Lake Malawi. This species is threatened by capture for the aquarium trade.


The Nkhomo-benga peacock is endemic to Lake Malawi where has only been recorded from the Nkhomo Reef[1] and possibly nearby areas of western Lake Malawi.[2]

Habitat and ecology[edit]

The Nkhomo-benga peacock inhabits sandy areas interspersed with rocks where it hunts small invertebrates,[3] which are detected in the sand using enlarged cephalic pores.[1] Feeding may be by sifting the substrate in its mouth or by using a more active predatory method where it watches the substrate for movement and grans the prey item.[2] It is normally found in shallow waters from 2–6 metres (6.6–19.7 ft) but has been recorded as deep as 16 metres (52 ft).[2] The males are territorial and show their breeding colour all year, the territory is centred on a shelter excavated by the male. The females live in small schools.[1] If a female is enticed to lay eggs by the male's courtship display she will lay eggs and take them into her mouth. The males of this species has spots resembling eggs on their anal fins and the female is attracted to these, opening her egg filled mouth to attempt to swallow these "eggs", when she does the male releases his milt to inseminate the eggs in her mouth. The eggs will be mouthbrooded for four weeks before she releases the free swimming fry.[2]


The main threat to this critically endangered cichlid is capture for the aquarium trade.[1]


The specific name honours Ulrich Baensch, the inventor of the dried falke fish food, Tetramin, and who founded Tetra GmbH.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Konings, A. (2018). "Aulonocara baenschi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T61057A47231357. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "Aulonocara baenschi MEYER & RIEHL, 1985 New Yellow Regal Peacock". Seriously Fish. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Aulonocara baenschi" in FishBase. June 2018 version.
  4. ^ Christopher Scharpf & Kenneth J. Lazara (22 July 2018). "Order CICHLIFORMES: Family CICHLIDAE: Subfamily PSEUDOCRENILABRINAE (a-g)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 1 December 2018.