The Yellow Cichlid (Labidochromis caeruleus) is a highly sought-after African cichlid known for its stunning yellow coloration. Its vibrant golden phase is the most commonly seen and has led to various common names such as Yellow Lab Cichlid, Electric Yellow Lab, Yellow Labido, Lemon Yellow Lab, and Lemon Drop Cichlid.
While the striking yellow morph is the most popular variety, it's important to note that there are actually several naturally occurring color morphs within this species. The collective group of these cichlids is referred to as the Blue Streak Hap, which includes variations such as Labidochromis Yellow, Labidochromis White, Pearl Labidochromis, and Blue-White Labido. Although less common, blue and white morphs are occasionally available to hobbyists.
The Blue Streak Haps, including the Electric Yellow Cichlid, can be found throughout Lake Malawi. However, the yellow variety is specifically endemic to the Nkhata Bay region, located between the Islands of Charo and Mbowe. The discovery and introduction of this color morph to the aquarium hobby is described in an article by author Marc Elieson titled "Labidochromis caeruleus," which details how the morph was first found and collected by Stuart Grant and his team in the early 1980s. Subsequently, Pierre Brichard bred them extensively in his fish facility in Burundi, Africa, situated on Lake Tanganyika. Initially, they were mistakenly labeled as "Labidochromis tanganicae," but it has since been clarified that they are not Tanganyikan cichlids but rather a xanthic variation of L. caeruleus.
Belonging to the Mbuna group, these cichlids are rock-dwelling species native to Lake Malawi in Africa. Mbunas are known for their small size, dynamic behavior, and aggressive personalities. The term "mbuna" originates from the Tonga people of Malawi and translates to "rockfish" or "rock-dwelling," accurately reflecting their natural habitat in contrast to open water swimmers like the Utaka cichlids and other "haps."