The largest occurence of the members of the genus Aulonocara is concentrated in the southern part of Lake Malawi. Going more south from Mbenji Island in the west and Fort McGuire [Maguire] at the east coast there can be found eleven species of Aulonocara.
However, on the contrary in the north between Karonga to Usisya along the west coast four or five taxa have been found; the east coast in this area is unexplored.
Six or seven species are concentrated on the middle region of the lake, between Nkhata Bay to Benga in the west and in the east between the islands of Likoma and Chisumulu.
In the northern part of the lake there can be detected two species, in the middle region two species and in the south three to four species, each taxon only known from one locality. As far as known all members of the genus Aulonocara are living in the adjoining areas of rocks and sand. Two species are living mostly in caves. Twelve species are primarily concentrated in water depths between 10 and 20 metres. Four species have been reported from deepwater zones with rostratum being caught at 64 metres depth and macrocleithrum at 75 metres.
Aulonocara specimens feed from the rock and sand substrate on insect larvae,
molluscs, ostracods and perhaps on small fishes.