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 Profiles Malawi Mbuna Metriaclima lanisticola
Metriaclima lanisticola
     
Scientific Name: Metriaclima lanisticola
Pronunciation: m-tr--kl-m lv-ng-stn-
Common Name(s): Metriaclima livingstonii
Habitat: Sand, in and around Empty Shells
Diet: Omnivore
Gender Differences: Dimorphic
Breeding: Maternal Mouthbrooder
Temperament: Aggressive
Conspecific Temperament: Aggressive
Maximum Size: 3"
Temperature: 78 - 82°F
pH: 7.8 - 8.6
Water Hardness: Hard
Difficulty: 2
Photo Credit: Jonathan Penyack
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The Malawi shell dweller, Metriaclima sp. lanisticola north lives in empty shells from the Lanisticola snail. Apart from a typical mbuna shape, lanisticola north has a smaller mouth and the head has a smooth slope. The body coloration is variable. The upperparts may be rusty brown while scales of the flanks are light blue and edged with copper. The body is marked with several vertical bands that may be apparent or inconspicuous. Female fish may be yellowish. The fins match the body color, except for the yellow anal fin. The caudal fin has irregular yellow and blue stripes. Females hold eggs for only 16 days. There are three populations. On the west coast north of Monkey Bay, the fish are 2.4 inch shell dwellers. Populations south of Crocodile Rock are larger and forage over sand. In between they use the intermediate habitat. At Kanchedza Island, lanisticola north has been observed cleaning fungus or parasites from the fins of other cichlids.
 Profiles Malawi Mbuna Metriaclima lanisticola
 Key To Species Profile Terms
 Pronunciation: Refer to our Pronunciation Key for an explanation of the phonetic symbols.
 Habitat: This is the primary location where the cichlid is found and is a generalization. This does not
  mean a fish cannot be found in other habitats.
 Diet: Many cichlids specialize in eating one type of food; notwithstanding, some of these specialized
  feeders are flexible and can be opportunistic feeders.
 Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tankmates that
  are of a different species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to various factors,
  including aquarium size, tankmates of similar appearance, stocking levels, and order of introduction.
  There may even be some variability among individual specimens.
 Conspecific Temperament: This describes the overall demeanor of a cichlid toward other tank-
  mates of the same species. Consider that there is variability in temperament due to such factors as
  aquarium size, stocking levels and order of introduction. There may even be some variability among
  individual specimens.
 Maximum Size: This is in regards to total length (including the tail) of typical aquarium specimens.
  Wild specimens may not attain this size, or may in fact grow larger than aquarium raised individuals
  due to various factors. Also consider that this is the typical maximum size and there are exceptional
  individuals that will exceed it.
 Difficulty: This measure is a relative value, comparing a single species against all other cichlids.
  This only accounts for maintanence in the aquarium and not breeding considerations.
  1 = easy and forgiving, 5 = extremely challenging.
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