This is one of a number of species that are named after someone, in this case Ross Socolof. However, some writers believe that the species itself is not valid and that the specimens collected from the wild are crosses between an undescribed species from Mozambique, which was introduced into the area where “socolofi” is now found, and one or more of the resident species.
- Central eastern coast of Lake Malawi from Tumbi Point to Cobue; fish reported from elsewhere, e.g. Thumbi West Island in the extreme southwest of the lake, are likely to be the result of the introductions that give rise to the doubt regarding the validity of the species.
- Aquarium specimens up to 4 1/4 in (12cm); wild- caught fish usually smaller.
- Territorial, but one of the more peaceful mbunas.
- Wide range of foods accepted.
- Properly constructed backgrounds that reach almost to the water surface, with plenty of boltholes. Must be well lit and well filtered. Medium-hard, alkaline water important. Temperature range 75-79 F (24-26 C).
- Maternal mouthbrooder.