Maylandia benetos, illustration from Stauffer et al. (1997)  

The holotype of Maylandia benetos, an adult male (PSU 3058, Penn State University) measuring 81.4 mm SL, from Mazinzi Reef in the southeast arm of Lake Malawi between Monkey Bay and Nkhudzi. M. benetos is known only from this rocky reef. This entity has been known informally as Pseudotropheus zebra "mazinzi" in the aquarium trade and was previously considered to represent a population of P. zebra (M. zebra) proper (Konings, 1995). Together with M. callainos, M. benetos is distinguished by having a pale blue ground color without any distinct vertical bars. The authors of this species (Stauffer et al., 1997) report that females of M. benetos are "brown with green highlights, while M. callainos females are either light blue or white." Males of the two forms were not compared, but breeding males of M. benetos "have a light blue ground coloration laterally that is darker dorsally and fades to white ventrally. For the most part, no vertical bars are visible.... Head blue/gray, cheek light blue, white gular [branchiostegal membrane]. Some larger males in the wild have yellow gulars. Although rarely seen in wild specimens, alpha males held in aquaria will sometimes develop a bright yellow gular" (Stauffer et al., 1997: 203). The same authors report that breeding males of M. callainos "have a light blue ground coloration with green highlights on dorsal one-third; head light blue with green highlights dorsally, with white gular and black opercular spot. Occasionally, males will be either white or blue/white blotched" (p. 204). Illustration reproduced from fig. 17 (a photograph retouched by M. Katz) of Stauffer et al. (1997); used by permission of Dr. Jay Stauffer.


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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 16 January 2000
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