Genyochromis mento was described by Trewavas in 1935. The species name mento comes from Latin and means chin. A reference to the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper jaw showing the teeth. This sets them apart from all other Mbuna. It is the only species within the genus Genyochromis.
In the wild, males can reach a total length of about 13 centimetres. The females remain slightly smaller at 11 centimeters. Apart from the maximum total length, the difference between males and females is not visible.
The color of this species is quite variable. Above the sand they take on a light color, when they are hunting between the rocks they change to a dark color. Certain variants also show black spots. Depending on the place of origin, the color schemes are somewhat different.
Genyochromis mento can be found all around Lake Malawi and in every biotope except open water. This makes it the only species that is so widely distributed.
The diet consists of the fins of other fish. Usually, they wait in ambush and strike from below. It doesn’t matter what species it is, all other species are attacked. Usually, they don’t feed on conspecifics.
You usually do not see Genyochromis mento in the aquarium. Due to its diet and active aggressive behaviour, they cannot be combined with other species. If you still want to keep them, a species aquarium is needed. They can probably only be kept in a large aquarium.
The biggest problem will be buying this species. The traders prefer not to import this species. Once caught with other species, they begin to eat away the fins.
John de Lange
© Michel Raab – MeinMalawium