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Thread: Red Zebra - Metriaclima Estherae vs. Maylandia Zebra

  1. #1
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    Default Red Zebra - Metriaclima Estherae vs. Maylandia Zebra

    OK, so I laid out a our first 72g stocklist for our first time cichlid experience and got it OK'd by the fishmasters here. Yellow Lab, Acei, Red Zebra (maybe OB), and eventually Demosani.

    I did all of this research without really doing a lot of window shopping because I was OK with ordering fish online if it made more sense, we're in a town with only big box pet stores. But obviously I'd rather by local if possible to save costs.

    I was able to find the Lab's and Acei without any problem and they're currently growing out in our 45g. My plan is to move them to the 72g and add the Red Zebra's. That's where the confusion comes in.

    In all my reasarch I've been looking into Red Zebra aka Metriaclima estherae. I was excited the other day when I saw "Red Zebra Cichlid" at our local PetSmart. But I checked it out closer and it says the species name is "Maylandia Zebra".

    I've tried to look around the interwebs and haven't found a lot of info. Some people state that Maylandia is the outdated name and it should be Metriaclima Zebra, which can be an alias for Metriaclima estherae, but I don't want to introduce a fish to the tank that's going to have unpredictable behavior.

    So what say you, are these PetSmart "Maylandia Zebra" actually Metriaclima Estherae?


  2. #2

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    There are different opinions on the naming convention so neither Maylandia nor Metriaclima is right or wrong:

    http://www.cichlid-forum.com/article..._maylandia.php

    Now the term "zebra" refers to a lot of different species that were collectively referred to as Pseudotropheus zebra. So for "red zebra" you could say either Metriaclima estherae or Maylandia esthera depending upon which you feel is correct in this scientific debate. But forget calling it Metriaclima zebra or Maylandia zebra because that is too generic and outdated since the red zebra is M. estherae.

    Never depend upon Petsmart to get any naming convention correct.

    Kevin
    (FYI in North America most hobbyests have adopted Metriaclima but in Europe most hobbyests are sticking with Maylandia.)

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by StructureGuy View Post
    Now the term "zebra" refers to a lot of different species that were collectively referred to as Pseudotropheus zebra. So for "red zebra" you could say either Metriaclima estherae or Maylandia estherae depending upon which you feel is correct in this scientific debate. But forget calling it Metriaclima zebra or Maylandia zebra because that is too generic and outdated since the red zebra is M. estherae.
    I agree.

    Metriaclima zebra is still being used by Ad Konings (Malawi Cichlid trailblazer) but it is pretty much a dying name. It used to be that about anything with stripes was a M. zebra. Now that time and research has been done the species are being split up more.

    I would avoid anything labeled 'Met./May. zebra' without doing more research (like you've done ). Red Zebra should be labeled as Met./May. estherae, though that label may just be wrong - would need to see a photo of the actual fish.

    Kevin is right, don't trust the labels on many of the big-box fish stores. Most of them have incorrect information.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys, These are "Medium" sized according to PetSmart so they're still quite a bit bigger than my juvy labs and acei, so it will be a few weeks before I look at adding them to the mix. Before I do I'll try to get a few shots/video of them to try and ID. At this point though, I think I might just order online to be safe.

    -Justin

  5. #5
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    Please keep us posted.
    Need to upload a cichlid photo? Check out the Cichlid Gallery, it is free and easy to use.
    Best of all, you don't have to leave this forum to access it!

    Cichlid Gallery - Fin Rot Treatment - What Did You Do Today? - What Spawned For You Today?

    Nikon D800 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 OS | Yongnuo YN-560II | Yongnuo RF-603 N3 | BrianStalterPhotography.com

  6. #6
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    Here's an update. I'm still looking to add some Red Zebra (Metriaclima estherae) so I went back to Petsmart and took a video for identification.

    Read the first post for the full story, but in short my question are this fish labeled "Red Zebra Cichlid - (Maylandia Zebra)" actually Metriaclima estherae?

    I'm hesitant to take a chance if I can't get a solid ID. I'd rather just pay extra and have what I want shipped in.

    Thanks for your time!

    [M]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nblPbIUW1fI[/M]

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JustinL View Post
    in short my question is are these fish labeled "Red Zebra Cichlid - (Maylandia Zebra)" actually Metriaclima estherae?
    Yup

  8. #8
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    ok so that definitely looks like a Metriaclima Estherae. I think that spyder gave you a good link to the discussion of Metriaclima/Maylandia. The Id's that these stores use are really just crap.

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