Friday, May 7, 2010

What are MBUNA?

MBUNA - pronounced "Mm-Boo-na"
Mbuna is a native Malawi term (from the local Chitonga language) that means "rock fish". It is not a specific type of fish, but rather refers to the collective group of species that live in the rocky shorelines of Lake Malawi.

Mbuna are not large cichlids. This makes them attractive as inhabitants for the home aquarium. When referring to "Mbuna", numerous African Lake Cichlid species are represented, including species from the popular Genera of  Pseudotropheus (represented by the Zebras), Labeotropheus (represented by the Roman-Nose species), Melanochromis (represented by the Gold Auratus and Chipokae species), Labidochromis (represented by the Yellow Labs), Cynotilapia (represented by the Lion Afra), Gephyrochromis , Iodotropheus (the Rusty Zebras), as well as the Genyochromis, Petrotilapia and Cyathochromis genera. Aulonocara (represented by the Peacocks) are a member of the haplochromines, but are oftern given an honorary status as mbuna.

Blue Cobalt Zebra - Pseudotropheus species

Roman-Nose Mbuna - Labeotropheus species

Gold Auratus (female) - Melanochromis auratus

Rusty Mbuna - Iodotropheus species

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