the wild, M. lombardoi is found at Mbenji Island and Nkhomo
Reef. It prefers depths of around 33 feet, and is abundant in
the intermediate rocky-sandy and sediment-rich areas. This fish
is not for beginners simply because it is an extremely ill-tempered
fish. I purchased a lone male but had to return him to the store
after an hour because he was so obnoxious; he threatened to impose
anarchy in my tank. He tried to mate with anything that moved,
regardless of gender or species. This is the most aggressive Mbuna
I have ever encountered. Due to their aggressive nature, this
species should not be housed in anything less than 75 gallons,
especially if you plan to keep more than one.
These fish are very cute as juveniles, displaying blue and white
vertical bars. As a result, this fish is easily sold to beginners,
and consequently, is almost always available in local fish shops.
Males turn a gorgeous orange, while females retain their original
blue and white bar morphology, although the blue turns a very
dark blue, almost black. An
intersting note is that when mouthbrooding, females will assume
the coloration of males. In addition, they will defend a small
territory during this period. Males can reach lengths of up to
6", while females are about 2/3 that size. Broods consist of 16-22
M. lombardoi is often sold as Pseudotropheus sp.
"Kenyi" or Pseudotropheus lilancinius. "Kenyi" or "Kenneyi"
is an older name while lilancinius is incorrect. As confusing
as this may be, Pseudotropheus lombardoi and Maylandia
lombardoi are acceptable alternative names for M. lombardoi.