Original description as Pseudotropheus estherae:
- Konings, Ad. 1995. "Description of Pseudotropheus estherae sp. nov., the well-known red zebra cichlid from Lake Malawi". Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. pp. 206-210 (crc00050)
Conservation: Metriaclima estherae is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (2006). Since M. estherae lives in rocky environments it is unlikely to be overfished by fishermen dragging nets. Besides that fact, the Red Zebra has a rather wide distribution, many of the populations far away from fishing villages.