Stigmatochromis modestus, photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver

Above: Stigmatochromis modestus, a small individual with the characteristic "modest" dark brown coloration. The red lappets (tips) of the dorsal fin membrane between the spines are also distinctive.

Notice the black spots on the body and fins; sometimes called "black spot disease," these spots are the metacercarial cysts of parasitic trematode worms. These are not harmful to the fish. In the wild, the parasites began in a snail, then settled on the fish, and would be able to complete their life cycle only if the fish were eaten by a bird, such as a kingfisher or fish eagle, which the adult parasite requires. In an aquarium, its life cycle cannot be completed.

Below: Photographs of the holotype of S. modestus (entire fish 123 mm SL, and closeup of its head; BMNH 1893.1.17: 5). All photos (color and black & white) copyright © by M. K. Oliver.

Stigmatochromis modestus, holotype, photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver

Stigmatochromis modestus, head of holotype, photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver


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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 22 October 2001
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997-2016 by M. K. Oliver - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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