Original description as Metriaclima phaeos:
- Stauffer, Jay Richard Jr. & N.J. Bowers, K.A. Kellogg, K.R. McKaye. 1997. "A revision of the blue-black Pseudotropheus zebra (Teleostei: Cichlidae) complex from Lake Malawi, Africa, with a description of a new genus and ten new species". The Proceedings of the Academy Natural Sciences Philadelphia. 148; pp 189-230 (crc00049)
Conservation: Metriaclima phaeos is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (LC) least concern (2018). It is a rather common cichlid in its preferred habitat along an almost 100 km stretch of the east central coast of the lake and no known threats are recognized, apart perhaps from increased sedimentation due to runoff from agricultural activities onshore.