Aristochromis christyi from Lake Malawi

Aristochromis christyi

Aristochromis christyi. Photo by Ad Konings

A large predator from Lake Malawi, Aristochromis christyi can be found in transition zones between rocks and sand. Although found throughout the lake, actually spotting A. christyi is rare. The only member of the genus which gets its name from the shape of the nose and high-set eyes giving them an aristocratic look. A. christyi‘s primary diet consists of young mbuna, but with its large-opening mouth, even mature mbuna are on the menu. A. christyi is not a fast predator, preferring to stick its mouth into crevices or turning on its side and slowly approaching unsuspecting pry.

Since Aristochromis christyi will eat anything it can fit into it large mouth, tankmates should be carefully considered. Reaching 12 inches in length, other large Lake Malawi predators are recommended. Space and dietary requirements should also factor in. While male A. christyi will tolerate females of its species, other males are not welcome. One male to multiple female A. christyi is best. To discuss this species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.


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