Original description as Pseudotropheus barlowi:
- McKaye, Kenneth R. & Jay R. Stauffer, Jr.. 1986. "Description of a gold cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa". Copeia. v. 1986(n. 4), pp. 870-875 (crc01034) (abstract)
Conservation: Metriaclima barlowi is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). M. barlowi is rather common and has a wide distribution. The populations around the Mbenji and Maleri islands are very robust and unlikely to be affected by either over-fishing or industrial/agricultural pollution.