is a smaller elongated species of African cichlid from Malawi. These beautiful cichlids are also known as golden mbuna and Malawi golden cichlid in the trade. The first characteristic you will notice is males are colored black and females are yellow so there is no guessing as to who is who.
This is a typcial mbuna cichlid endemic to Malawi but specific to the southern region of Malawi from Jalo Reef along the coast to Crocodile Rocks where it is found in the rocky habitat of the area. M. auratus is a mouth breeding species so the female will hold the egss in her mouth and release them when its time.
As juveniles the auratus cichlid
is yellow including young females with black and white stripes on the upper portion of their bodies. Males as they mature turn black or dark brown with light blue or yellow stripes on the upper portion of their bodies. This color characteristic between sexes is referred to as sexual dichromatism.This species is listed on IUCN Red List of endangered species
but noted as LC or least concern with no known major widespread threats.
As with other mbuna this species should be kept with one male to multiple females as male can be aggressive and territorial so it’s best to manage them in a harem. They species does well in a community setting and will benefit from a vegetable diet of algae and spirulina. Check out the awesome video below with Melanochromis auratus breeding.
Melanochromis Auratus breeding video
List of Melanochromis species
Melanochromis auratus (Boulenger, 1897) (Golden Mbuna, Auratus Cichlid, Malawi Golden Cichlid)
Melanochromis baliodigma Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis benetos Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis brevis Trewavas, 1935
Melanochromis chipokae D. S. Johnson, 1975
Melanochromis cyaneorhabdos Bowers & Stauffer, 1997 (Maingano)
Melanochromis dialeptos Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis elastodema Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis heterochromis Bowers & Stauffer, 1993
Melanochromis interruptus D. S. Johnson, 1975
Melanochromis joanjohnsonae (D. S. Johnson, 1974) (Pearl of Likoma)
Melanochromis johannii (Eccles, 1973) (Bluegrey Mbuna, Johanni Mbuna, electric blue johanni)
Melanochromis kaskazini Konings-Dudin, Konings & Stauffer, 2009
Melanochromis lepidiadaptes Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis loriae D. S. Johnson, 1975
Melanochromis melanopterus Trewavas, 1935
Melanochromis mossambiquensis Konings-Dudin, Konings & Stauffer, 2009
Melanochromis mpoto Konings & Stauffer, 2012.
Melanochromis parallelus W. E. Burgess & H. R. Axelrod, 1976 (Parallel-striped Mbuna)
Melanochromis perileucos Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Melanochromis perspicax (Trewavas, 1935)
Melanochromis robustus D. S. Johnson, 1985
Melanochromis simulans Eccles, 1973
Melanochromis vermivorus Trewavas, 1935 (Purple Mbuna)
Melanochromis wochepa Konings-Dudin, Konings & Stauffer, 2009
Melanochromis xanthodigma Bowers & Stauffer, 1997
Related Malawi cichlid articles and links