Metriaclima fainzilberi prefers rocky habitats in shallow water 3 to 10 metres. Occasionally found in the intermediate substrates. Males are territorial and defend territories of 1m. Females are solitary or found in small groups.
Their most striking feature is the enlarged lower jaw where teeth are visible and have a similar mouth structure to Petrotilapia. Dominant males are light blue with dominant vertical bars. The lower head area is dark brown to yellow. Yellow pigment is also visible in the throat and chest regions. The intensity of the yellow decreases in population from north to south. The dorsal is white and the posterior is also yellow. Females are brown or OB. It is also possible, like with all species within the zebras complex to have OB males, referred to as Marmalade Cats (MC) within the hobby.