The Red Empress or Protomelas taeniolatus
is a beautiful cichlid endemic to Lake Malawi in Eastern Africa. Probably most recognizable by the name Haplochromis Red Empress and sometimes called the Spindle Hap is a Haplochromine cichlid
. This fish is quiet popular in community tanks and can be kept with other Malawi cichlids such as Fossorochromis rostratus.
The Spindle Hap like many fish of Eastern Africa are somewhat dull when young but these fish blossom into bright rainbow like colors. P. taeniolatus can reach some six inches in length and are peaceful overall unless their breeding. Both male and females become aggressive but this is to be expected. Males are generally aggressive towards each other so its best to keep this species with multiple females to one male unless your tank is large enough to house more than one male.
are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List
with a major threat due to potential sedimentation of near shore rocky areas but are classified as least concern presently. Red Empress primarily feeds on alage or aufwuchs from rocky surfaces but will feed on plankton as well. This species will accept all common African cichlid prepared foods and does well with spirulina pellets foods in particular. Overall this is a great and popular African cichlid to keep.
Red Empress cichlid videos:
List of common names and synonyms
Haplochromis Red Empress
Haplochromis Fire Blue