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Male S. fryeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe: Haplochromini
Genus: Sciaenochromis
Eccles & Trewavas, 1989
Type species
Haplochromis ahli
Trewavas, 1935

Sciaenochromis is a genus of haplochromine cichlids endemic to Lake Malawi in East Africa. The species are popular in the aquarium hobby, most notably S. fryeri.

Only males possess the impressive, electric blue coloration, while females are dull grey, and generally similar to the females of Aulonocara species. All Sciaenochromis are piscivores (fish-eaters) and prey mainly upon the fry of mbuna and other haplochromine cichlids.


There are currently four recognized species in this genus:[1]

In the aquarium[edit]

Like all cichlids from Lake Malawi, they are best maintained in hard, alkaline water. Sciaenochromis are best kept in tanks with volumes greater than 210 l (55 gal). This is an aggressive fish, and the minimum tank size of 210 litres is only acceptable with a trio of 1 male and 2 females. If you are planning on keeping more males, it is highly recommended to have a larger tank, 350 l/100 gal being the minimum. Males can also display aggression towards similarly-coloured fish of other species, for example Aulonocara or Placidochromis.


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Sciaenochromis in FishBase. April 2013 version.

Media related to Sciaenochromis at Wikimedia Commons