Metriaclima sp. "daktari"Doctor's Cichlid
Synonyms: Pseudotropheus sp. "daktari"
Above: A male Metriaclima sp. "daktari" "Hai Reef". Photo by Sam Borstein.
Genus- Metri= average (Latin), clima= slope (Latin).
Species- daktari= Doctor (Swahili).
Metriaclima sp. "daktari" is a very pretty, undescribed elongate mbuna. This gorgeous yellow cichlid is relatively new to the hobby, but is not near as popular as it was when it first was available.
This fish is though to be very closely related to the Metriaclima sp. "lime" group (Konings, 2007), which consists of the below species:
- Metriaclima sp. "dakatari:
- Metrialcima sp. "lime"
- Metriaclima sp. "lime jalo"
- Metriaclima sp. "lime nkhomo"
This fish was previously a member of Pseudotropheus and is closely related to fish of the Pseudotropheus elongatus complex.
Metriaclima sp. "daktari" is found at Undu Reef, Hai Reef, and Chiwindi in Lake Malawi. There is some variation in these location variants, most noticeably the Chiwindi variant which has a lot of blue/purple coloration on the flanks.
Size, Maturity, and Sexual Dimorphism:
Size: Males- 4 inches, Females- 3.5 inches
Maturity: 2.5 inches
Sexual Dimorphism: Males are larger than females and are a brighter yellow with a purple sheen to them.
Metriaclima sp. "daktari" is easy to care for. This fish is territorial and does best mixed with a few other types of mbuna or hap to spread aggression. Decorate the tank with hiding spots and aggression shouldn't be an issue. A breeding group of this species can easily coexist in a 75 gallon Malawi community tank.
This fish is an herbivore in the wild, but in aquaria can handle some protein. A high quality vegetable flake is a must for a part of the diet.
The Doctor's Cichlid is not very hard to breed. Males display to females and breed in the typical mbuna fashion. Males during this time are highly aggressive.
Females are good holders and hold for about three weeks. The spawns are usually between 18 and 40 medium sized fry. The fry grow fast and start off great on a diet of baby brine shrimp. They can then be switched over to crushed flake shortly after.
Metriaclima sp. "daktari" is a very pretty fish to keep. I recommend this fish for Malawi fans as well as the mixed cichlid keeper. The fish do make great additions to show tanks. The Doctor's Cichlid may be hard to find but is available from hobbyists as well as fish farms for a relatively low price.
- Konings, A. (2007) Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat. 4th ed., Cichlid Press, El Paso, Texas, 424 pp.