Placidochromis milomo, photo of the living holotype by M. K. Oliver

Placidochromis milomo, photo of a living paratype by M. K. Oliver

Above, upper photo: Placidochromis milomo Oliver, 1989: live holotype, a sexually active male 162 mm SL, USNM 304652, from 16-36 m depth on a submerged rock reef off the southeast corner of Thumbi Island West, trammel nets. Above, lower photo: a live paratype female 117.0 mm SL (USNM 304653), same locality as holotype; right side photographically reversed. Photos copyright © by M. K. Oliver.

I gave the fish the name "milomo," which means "lips" in Chichewa, the national language of Malawi. However, the name "Kawizuwizu" is applied to this striking species at Cape Maclear, Malawi. This word also refers to the enlarged lips. In aquarium circles, P. milomo has sometimes been sold as the "Super VC-10" (a British commercial jet aircraft). This member of the "Hap" species flock has on occasion been confused with the Mbuna species Abactochromis labrosus, because they are superficially similar in having vertical bars and enlarged lips. A closer examination shows that they are quite distinct and not closely related.

A 90-second underwater video by Ad Konings of a young P. milomo sucking invertebrates from under rocks is available at the excellent Cichlid Room Companion site (subscription and login are necessary).

Below: An individual of P. milomo photographed underwater at Monkey Bay, Malawi. From Plate 12d of Ribbink et al., 1983 (wherein it was called Cyrtocara "labrosa"), reproduced by permission of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa.

Placidochromis milomo, photo from Ribbink et al. (1983); used by permission



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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 29 October 2010
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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