Melanochromis xanthodigma, holotype; illustration from Bowers & Stauffer (1997)

The holotype of Melanochromis xanthodigma (Penn State University, PSU 2656.1, an adult male 81.6 mm SL), from Masinje (north of Makanjila Point), Malawi. This is one of two closely similar species that were formerly known as Melanochromis "blotch." According to Bowers & Stauffer (1997), this opportunistic feeder can be distinguished from its close relative, M. baliodigma, by having five to seven yellow ocellae on the anal fin, instead of only two to four. Both species have two horizontal stripes and seven to nine brown vertical bars; the bars, reportedly, tend to be wider in M. xanthodigma. Illustration by M. Katz, from fig. 12 of Bowers & Stauffer (1997); used with the kind permission of Dr. Nancy Bowers.


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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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