Male at Mphanga Rocks
A male of Aulonocara stuartgranti at Mphanga Rocks, Lake Malawi [Malawi].Foto di Ad Konings. (11-Ott-2005). determinatore Ad Konings









Ultimo aggiornamento in data:

Aulonocara stuartgranti Meyer & Riehl, 1985

Descrizione originale come Aulonocara stuartgranti:

  • Meyer, Manfred & R. Riehl. 1985. "Aulonocara baenschi n. sp. und Aulonocara stuartgranti n. sp., zwei neue Taxa aus der Familie Cichlidae vom Malawi-See (Pisces, Perciformes, Cichlidae)". H.A. Baensch & R. Riehl, Aquarien Atlas, Band II. pp. 836-846 (crc00061)

Sinonimi (2):

Storia nomenclatura:


Etimologia: Named after Stuart M. Grant, exporter of fishes from Malawi who operated from Kambiri Point from 1972 till 2007 and eminent ambassador of Malawi cichlids who supported many hobbyists and scientists alike.

Diagnosi: Aulonocara stuartgranti has more teeth on the lower pharyngeal jaw in comparison with A. nyassae and A. maylandi. Has a smaller preorbital bone and a relatively larger upper jaw than A. nyassae (Meyer & Riehl, 1985). The blue races of Aulonocara stuartgranti closely resemble A. koningsi. Males and females of the Mbenji Aulonocara are recognized by the more pronounced vertical barring and the sometimes invisible three elongated spots on the body. Males in full nuptial color are distinguished from many Aulonocara stuartgranti variants by the lack of "egg-spots" in the anal fin. The yellow forms from Usisya and Kande resemble A. sp. 'jalo'. They differ from the latter by the smaller mouth.

Nomi comuni: Aulonocara Blue Neon (commercial, English), Aulonocara Cóbuè (commercial, English), Aulonocara New Yellow (commercial, English), Aulonocara Nyassae (commercial, English), Aulonocara Red Flush (commercial, English), Chilumba Aulonocara (commercial, English), Flavescent Peacock (commercial, English), Ngara Aulonocara (commercial, English), Usisya Aulonocara (commercial, English).

Località tipo: Mpanga Rocks, Chilumba, Lake Malawi, Malawi.

Distribuzione: Aulonocara stuartgranti occurs along the entire northwestern coast between Ngara and Kande Island and along the east coast between the Ruhuhu River in Tanzania and Luwala Reef in Malawi. The type locality is not Mphanga Rocks as given but the shore just south of Chilumba, along the Lukoma peninsula.

Paesi abitati: Malawi (native).Mozambico (native).Tanzania (native).

Habitat: Lake Malawi pH of the water is about 8.3. The temperature of the water in Lake Malawi fluctuates with the seasons. In the dry season it can be as low as 20° C and in sheltered bays in the rainy season as high as 30° C. Aulonocara stuartgranti is restricted to the intermediate habitat. Females and non-breeding males forage from the sand in the vicinity of rocks. When disturbed they all hide among the rocks of the habitat. Individuals of some populations are very shy and permanently hide in caves whereas others are found in large schools over the sand (e.g. the Usisya variant).

Località: Chadagha (Malawi, natale), Charo (Malawi, natale), Chesese (Malawi, natale), Chewere (Malawi, natale), Chiloelo (Mozambico, natale), Chilucha Reef (Mozambico, natale), Chilumba Harbour (Malawi, natale), Chimwalani Reef (Malawi, natale), Chinuni (Mozambico, natale), Chiofu Bay (Malawi, natale), Chirwa Island (Malawi, natale), Chitande Island (Malawi, natale), Chitimba Bay deep (Malawi, undefined), Chiwindi (Mozambico, natale), Cobwé (Mozambico, natale), Gallireya Reef (Malawi, natale), Gome Rock (Malawi, undefined), Hai Reef (Tanzania, natale), Hongi island (Tanzania, undefined), Hora Mhango (Malawi, undefined), Kande Island (Malawi, natale), Katale Island (Malawi, natale), Lion Point (Malawi, undefined), Liutche (Mozambico, natale), Londo Bay (Mozambico, natale), Luwala Reef (Malawi, natale), Malopa (Malawi, natale), Mbowe Island (Malawi, natale), Mbweca Rocks (Mozambico, natale), Mdoka Reef (Malawi, natale), Metangula-North Bay (Mozambico, natale), Minos Reef (Mozambico, natale), Mphanga Rocks (Malawi, type locality), Mundola Point (Malawi, natale), N'kolongwe (Mozambico, natale), Narungu (Malawi, undefined), Ngara (Malawi, natale), Nkhata Bay (Malawi, natale), Nkhungu Reef (Mozambico, natale), Ntekete (Malawi, natale), Ntumba (Mozambico, natale), Otter Island (Malawi, introdotto), Pombo Rocks (Tanzania, undefined), Puulu (Tanzania, undefined), Ruarwe (Malawi, undefined), Sanga (Malawi, natale), Tchinga Reef (Malawi, natale), Thumbi West Island (Malawi, introdotto), Thundu (Mozambico, natale), Tumbi Point (Mozambico, natale), Undu Reef (Tanzania, natale), Wikihi (Malawi, natale).

Alimentazione: Food is collected in the characteristic way seen in all Aulonocara. It consists of crustaceans and insect larvae which live in the sand.

Riproduzione: Males defend their territories beneath or between rocks. Large caves can hold several territorial males. Large, overhanging rocks are preferred by Aulonocara stuartgranti, especially when these suspend over sand. Females form small groups and remain motionless over the sand between the territories of the males. Spawning takes place inside the cave.

Aquariofilia: Malawi cichlids are rather robust and can stand some fluctuation in the pH, but it is recommended that the pH of the aquarium water be maintained between 7.0 and 8.5. It is advisable to keep the temperature constant at a value between 23 and 28° C. Overheating to about 32° C can be sufficient to kill these cichlids. The Usisya race contains the largest specimens of this species. Males may reach a maximum size of about 12 cm and females about 10 cm. The populations known as "Blue Neon" in Tanzania and Mozambique harbor the smallest individuals: about 9 cm for males and 7 cm for females. Even though Aulonocara stuartgranti males are peaceful towards other cichlids it is recommended that only one male per species is kept in the same aquarium. More than one female is not necessary, but, of course, possible. The sex, even of small individuals, can be determined by examining the vent.

Conservazione: Aulonocara stuartgranti è valutata dalle organizzazioni internazionali di salvaguardia delle specie a rischio come (LC) basso rischio (2006). This species is still very common at most localities and none of the populations known are threatened by over-fishing.

Commenti: There is a great variability in male breeding coloration along the many populations known of this species. See the photographs in order to appreciate the differences in color between males of different locations. The changes from blue to yellow occur via several populations with intermediate color.

Aulonocara steveni and Aulonocara hansbaenschi are junior synonyms of Aulonocara stuartgranti and just represent geographical variants of this widespread species.

Referenze (7):

  • Fryer, Geoffrey. 1959. "The trophic interrelationships and ecology of some littoral communities of Lake Nyasa with special reference to the fishes, and a discussion of the evolution of a group of rock-frequenting Cichlidae". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 132: pp 153-282 (crc01911)
  • Konings, Ad. 2007. "Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat (4th edition)". Cichlid Press. 424 pp (crc01558)
  • Konings, Ad. 1999. "Aulonocara: interesting peacocks". Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. v. 47(n. 10), pp. 78-86 (crc04095)
  • Konings, Ad. 1995. "A review of the sand-dwelling species of the genus Aulonocara, with the description of three new species". The Cichlids Yearbooks. v. 5; pp. 26-36 (crc00002)
  • Konings, Ad. 1995. "Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat (2nd edition)". Cichlid Press. 352 pp (crc01582)
  • Meyer, Manfred & R. Riehl. 1985. "Aulonocara baenschi n. sp. und Aulonocara stuartgranti n. sp., zwei neue Taxa aus der Familie Cichlidae vom Malawi-See (Pisces, Perciformes, Cichlidae)". H.A. Baensch & R. Riehl, Aquarien Atlas, Band II. pp. 836-846 (crc00061)
  • Ribbink, Anthony J & B.A. Marsh, A.C. Marsh, A.C. Ribbink & B.J. Sharp. 1983. "A preliminary survey of the cichlid fishes of rocky habitats in Lake Malawi". South African Journal of Zoology (Zool. Dierkunde). pp. 149-310 (crc01386)


Konings, Ad. (Maggio 04, 2008). "Aulonocara stuartgranti Meyer & Riehl, 1985". Cichlid Room Companion. URL consultato in data Ottobre 23, 2016, da: