Protomelas spilopterus, adult male; photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver

The exquisite creature above is a sexually active male Protomelas spilopterus. This is another species suspected of being a paedophage or fry-robber; notice the massive lower jaw. Below: A closeup of the anal fin, showing the conspicuous pseudo-ocellae. There is no clear, depigmented ring around the spots (this absence is what makes them only pseudo-ocellae), as is seen in the more specialized ocellar eggspots of the mbuna flock. These more primitive eggspots (fairly typical for members of the "Hap" flock) nevertheless appear three-dimensional because of the gradient from a deep yellow at the centers to almost white at the edges of some spots.

Protomelas spilopterus, anal fin of adult male;
photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver


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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 13 August 2001
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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