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Aulonocara saulosi
by Marc Elieson

Fin Organism Underwater Fish Marine biology

Aulonocara saulosi can easily be distinguished from other peacocks by its bullet-shaped head. There are two varities of A. saulosi: one population has been described and collected from Fort Maguire and Makanjila (along the southeast coast) and another from Likoma Island and Lumbaulo (northeast coast). The population from the southeast has a blue head, while the group from the northeast has a green face (pictured here). This latter geographical variant has been appropriately nicknamed "Emerald Face." A. saulosi also has a brightly colored shoulder and collar region.

Males reach maximum lengths of 5 inches while females are substantially smaller at 4 inches. In the wild, A. saulosi inhabits the intermediate zone lying between rocky and sandy littorals. The depth at which this species resides varies depending upon location, but can be anywhere from 2 to 30 meters. In the aquarium, all that is necessary to house this peacock is a coarse-grain sand and a few rocks for juveniles and mouthbrooding females to find protection.

Organism Fish Rectangle Fin Tail

A. saulosi is an african cichlid with a mild temperment and should not be kept with boisterous or belicose tankmates (e.g., mbuna). Suitable tankmates include Copadichromis, Lethrinops, Nyassachromis, and other peacock species, but care should be taken to prevent cross hybridization.

All known Aulonocara species feed mainly on small animals living on or in the upper layers of the sand and sediment. In the aquarium, however, these species readily accept commercially prepared foods, such as flakes, pellets, and frozen foods.
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