The Hornet Cichlid

Common Name: Hornet Cichlid, Bumblebee Cichlid

Latin Name: Mylandia Crabro (sometimes referred to as Pseudotropheus crabro).

Origin: Lake Malawi

Temperature: 78 – 82°F (25-28°C)

Ease Of Keeping: A very hardy fish, but it’s aggressison may cause a problem in some tanks.

Aggressivness: Males can be very aggresssive, they will kill.

Adult Size: Can get up to 8 inches (20cm)

Minimum Tank Size: 75 Gallon

Feeding: Omnivore – but heavy on the meat.

Comments: This is one of the first cichlids I kept in the hobby, and one that I enjoy very much. I find it to be one of my more social cichlids; its attention is constantly on you, even when it is not feeding time. I have heard of Hornet owners that are able to hand feed these cichlids. I also found it to be one of the faster growing Mbuna. In the wild, these fish live in caves with the Kampango Catfish, which provides the Hornet with a diet of parasites and catfish eggs. Males can drastically change color from the regular “bumblebee” pattern to completely black (which aids in it’s ability to steal the catfish eggs). This fish is very hardy and will forgive most human mistakes, but is very aggressive, and will only work with similar-tempered cichlids. It needs rocks/caves/tunnels/etc “Rocky Retreats” to be happy (like the rest of the Mbuna).


Melke, Sabine and Friese, Erich (Translator). (1993). Success with Cichlids from Lake Malawi & Tanganyika. Neptune City: T.F.H.

Aquaworks Web Solutions, LLC. “Species Profiles”. Cichlid Forum. (2005). 8 March 2005.

Oliver, M.K. “Maylandia Crabro” The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa. (2002). 8 March 2005.