Original description as Pseudotropheus xanstomachus:
- Stauffer, Jay Richard Jr. & J. M. Boltz. 1989. "Description of a rock-dwelling cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. v. 102; n. 1; pp. 8-13 (crc01070)
Conservation: Metriaclima xanstomachus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (NT) near threatened (2018). Although M. xanstomachus was nowhere in its distribution very common it doesn't appear to be immediately threatened with extinction. However, with the recent catastrophic decline of the plankton-feeding cichlids in Lake Malawi the focus of the local fishermen is shifting to the smaller rock-dwelling fish in the lake. These can only be caught with gill nets and M. xanstomachus is large enough to get entangled in such nets. For this reason the species is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN.