Melanochromis elastodema, underwater photo from Bowers & Stauffer (1997)

Above: Melanochromis elastodema (formerly known as Melanochromis "red" or M. "chisumulu johannii"), photographed underwater at Mitande Rocks, Thumbi West Island, Malawi, to which vicinity (as well as Likoma Island and Nkhata Bay) it was, unfortunately, introduced artificially by an irresponsible collector of aquarium fishes. The species is actually endemic to Chisumulu Island. Below: The holotype of Melanochromis elastodema (Penn State University, PSU 2651.1), an adult male 67.3 mm SL from Liwello Bay, Chisumulu Island, Malawi; scale bar = 10 mm. Photo from Fig. 7 and illustration below (by M. Katz) from Fig. 6 of Bowers & Stauffer (1997); used with the kind permission of Dr. Nancy Bowers. According to the authors:

Melanochromis elastodema may be distinguished from other members of the genus by a pale blue abbreviated or absent dorso-lateral stripe and a pale blue interrupted mid-lateral stripe in males. Males [sic] M. elastodema resemble M. perileucos, but may be distinguished by their dark blue or almost black caudal peduncle, compared with the more typical light blue caudal peduncle of M. perileucos. Females are difficult to distinguish from female M. johannii. — Bowers & Stauffer (1997: 55-56)

Melanochromis elastodema, holotype; photo from Bowers & Stauffer (1997)



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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 18 January 2000
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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