Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Maylandia: In honour of Hans J. Mayland, German ictiologist (Ref. 45335); sciasma: The specific epithet, sciasma, is Greek for shadow, in reference to the black pelvic fins of males; noun in apposition.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 10°S - 11°S, 34°E - 35°E
Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi, Tanzania (Ref. 86409).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 7.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 86409)
Morphology | Morphometrics
A moderately-sloped head and bicuspid teeth in the outer row of the jaws place this species in Metriaclima. A black pelvic fin, a dark-blue cheek and preorbital area, and a blue dorsal fin without a black submarginal band in breeding males and the light-brown colored females that have yellow fin-margins distinguish M. sciasma from all other members of Metriaclima. Breeding males of M. sciasma are distinguished from those of some populations of M. zebra by the presence of a single interorbital bar (2 in M. zebra) and by black pigment on the anterior membranes of the anal fin. Female M. sciasma cannot reliably be distinguished from those of most other members of the Aurora group, but differ from those of M. aurora by more vertical bars below the dorsal fin (7–10 vs. 6) (Ref. 86409).
Found in intermediate habitat, where transition between rocks and sand occurs; 3-20 m deep; males hold territories mainly over sand near rocks and excavate beneath rocks to construct their spawning burrow; feeds on sediment-rich aufwuchs on rocks from which it rakes diatoms and loose algal strands (Ref. 86409).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Ciccotto, P.J., A. Konings and J.R. Stauffer Jr., 2011. Descriptions of five new species in the genus Metriaclima (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Mala?i, Africa. Zootaxa 2738:1-25. (Ref. 86409)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.00700 - 0.03275), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.6 ±0.2 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (11 of 100) .