The Auratus Cichlid (Melanochromis auratus) is a small freshwater fish in the Cichlid family. It is also known as the Golden Mbuna and the Malawi Golden Cichlid.
The Auratus Cichlid is elongated with a silver sheen and black and white stripes on the upper half of its body. The male is dark brown or black with a light-bluish or yellow stripe. The female is bright yellow with black and white stripes.
It grows to about 11 centimetres (4 inches) in length.
It is endemic to the southern region of Lake Malawi in Malawi, Africa, which is a freshwater lake.
It is an omnivore, eating crabs, shrimp, small fish, insects, worms, aquatic plants, and algae.
The male and female form a monogamous pair for life. The Auratus Cichlid is a mouthbrooder. The female lays eggs and protects the eggs in her mouth. The eggs hatch after 3 days and become little fish, called fry.
Both parents care for their young. The parents often suck up the fry into their mouth for protection. They don’t eat their young.
[Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM