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Aulonocara stuartgranti sp. "Cobue"
by Marc Elieson

Aulonocara stuargranti sp. "Cobue - Mozambique" is easily distinguished by its rich, royal blue color and blood-red ventral fins. Males of this species are perhaps the brightest blue of all the peacocks. Females are brown but have dots on their dorsal fins.

Broods range in size from 18-50 fry. This variant of Aul. stuartgranti was one of the first ever exported from the lake. The specimen photographed here is a wild-caught male from Cobue. This stuartgranti variant is also found around Thumbi West Island. Apparently, Peter Davies transplanted this fish here (along with others) in the 70s so that he would not have to travel as far north to collect this beauty.

In the aquarium, they hug the substrate much of the time, swimming along at a 20-degree angle, shoveling the substrate, and not just after feeding time. I don't know whether my Cobue exhibits this behavior or not because it is a wild fish, but nonetheless it is interesting to watch. This particular species has very attractive markings on its head. The iridescent blue covers its face like cellophane (see picture to the left), with little bare spots exposing the interior of the fish's jaw. I am intrigued by its faintly transparent character. Up close it looks like cellophane, but from a distance, it has the appearance of crushed velvet. Overall, this fish makes a great addition to any Hap setup or the center piece for your peacock aquarium.

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