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: I purchased 2M:4F Xystichromis phytophagus (aka Xmas Fulu) at the Ohio Cichlis association Extravaganza in

November of 2014.

Above is a young 2 1/2" male




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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