Auratus

(Melanochromis auratus)

I have three of these fish: two females and a male. The male is Foo and the two females are "Bar" and "Baz" (three of the metasyntactic variables).

Melanochromis auratus

As juveniles, these fish were probably the most uncichlid-like cichlids I had ever owned. They had a catfish-like tendancy to swim up and down against the wall of the fishtank, they schooled, and only reassured me by occasionally demonstrating a cichid tendancy to flare their fins at the other cichlids. Very odd little fish. Fortunately this behavior changed to a more normal level of aggression when they matured.

Foo

Melanochromis auratus

This is picture of Foo in his full adult coloration. Mature males look like kindof like a reverse video version of the females and juveniles.


Melanochromis auratus

This is picture of Foo when he was mid-color change. As you can see he's more brownish. The males fade from yellow to brown and then black when they mature.


Bar

Melanochromis auratus

This picture of Bar holding eggs in her mouth. Female mbuna hold the young in their mouths for approximately 3 weeks.


Melanochromis auratus

This picture of Bar is relatively new, however, the auratus still haven't grown much at all. Bar has already had one batch of 20 babies.


Melanochromis auratus

Here is a picture of one Bar from slightly above. It gives a good view of the shape of her head. Compare this to the johannii and chipokae... they all have a very similar shape (although the chipokae are much larger).


Baz

Melanochromis auratus

This fish is Baz. I believe Baz is female, however, she has yet to carry any eggs.


Melanochromis auratus

Here Baz is "yawning". Any cichlid owner will recognize this behavior! I don't think this is actually yawning...probably more like stretching those mouth muscles so the other fish will fit better. Heh heh heh...


Pictures from when the fish were younger

Melanochromis auratus Melanochromis auratus Melanochromis auratus

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Last modified at Saturday, April 28, 2012