Name:    Xystichromis phytophagus

Synonym:    Haplochromis phytophagus

Common name:    Xmas Fulu

Location:    Lake Kanyaboli and the Yala Swamp

Adult male size:    Not quite 5 inches (14 cm),      Females: 3 1/2" (9 cm)

Diet:    omnivore

The "Xmas Fulu" comes from Lake Kanyaboli and the Yala Swamp.   These are satellite lakes in Kenya just a bit northeast of Lake Victoria free from predation from the Nile Perch although some sources indicate that Yala Swamp has dried up.  The Xystichromis phytophagus is very similar to the Haplochromis (Xystichromis) sp. "dayglow".  According to Dr. Paul Louiselle, there are three differences, the tooth structure, the dayglow grows larger and a very slight color difference.  There are those that feel the dayglow and the Xmas Fulu are the same species.


Personal notes:  Likely a hybrid male Haplochromis (Xystichromis) phytophagus below?  He is likely one of the many Haplochromis species #44 hybrids that seem to be everywhere these days.  Here is the link that made me think it might have some Xmas fulu in it:

Note that it doesn't match the pictures in the other links below.  

The same male at a younger age below

I bought this hybrid victorian cichlid at the LFS where it was labeled as Haplochromis obliquidens.  The black blotch on the body only appears on one side.  The faint stripes appear only on very rare occasions during an aggressive encounter.  I have found this to be a fairly aggressive victorian. 


The Xmas fulu is believed to be extinct in Lake Victoria although it still thrives in the Yala Swamp and possibly in Lake Kanyaboli.  It feeds on plants and lives in the sandy planted zones in the lake.  It grows to about 4 1/2 inches (12 cm).

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