Peacock or Peacocks is the common name for the genus Aulonocara and falls within the family Cichlidae. Officially, only 22 Peacoks have been described, but there are still quite a few known species that are still awaiting description.

The name Peacock

It is not clear where the name Peacock comes from. This is probably a reference to the color splendor of the males in particular. They are often very colorful. Often they have some blue on the head, but the body is blue, yellow, red, or a mixture of these colors. The females, on the other hand, are a dull brown/grey in color.


Peacocks are somewhat milder in character than the busy and territorial Mbuna. It is therefore best to keep them in company with the calmer and more peaceful species from Lake Malawi.


The lateral line organ is located in the nose of the Peacock. They use these to search for prey in the sand. You often see them diving into the sand with their heads, after which they flush a mouthful of sand through their gills.

Geographical variants

Due to the vastness of Lake Malawi and the fact that some areas remain isolated from each other for the fish, a large number of species have developed variations. Aulonocara stuartgranti, for example, has many different origins and color varieties.

Breeding variants

Because Peacocks come in many different colors, they are a popular genus to breed with. Various breeding variants have therefore been put into circulation. By means of selective breeding and crossings, a large number of often colorful breeding variants have been created.

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