Original description as Melanochromis baliodigma:
- Bowers, Nancy & J. Stauffer. 1997. "Eight new species of rock-dwelling cichlids of the genus Melanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa". Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters. v. 8 (1); pp. 49-70 (crc00126)
- Melanochromis xanthodigma Bowers & Stauffer, 1997, with type locality at Makanjila Reef, Lake Malawi, Malawi. Determiner: Konings, 2001
Conservation: Melanochromis baliodigma is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (2006). I believe it is not more threatened than most other Malawi cichlids. Most populations are small but it is not a rare species or one with a narrow distribution.