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Melanochromis robustus Johnson, 1985

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Melanochromis robustus
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Malawi country information

Common names: [No common name]
Occurrence: endemic
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Type locality of the holotype of Melanochromis robustus: 'off Chizimulu Island, Lake Malawi, Malawi' (Ref. 93908). Known from Lake Malawi (Ref. 89864, 93908). Also Ref. 5663.
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/mi.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Konings, A.F. and J.R. Stauffer Jr., 2012
National Database:

Common names from other countries

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Melanochromis: Greek, melas, melanos = black + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range ? - 5 m (Ref. 89864).   Tropical; 11°S - 13°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi (Ref. 89864).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 12.4 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89864)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 16 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 6 - 8. Diagnosis: Melanochromis robustus has a basic melanin pattern consisting of two longitudinal black stripes on the body, of which the mid-lateral stripe reverses colour with the background in the breeding male, a character that makes it a member of Melanochromis (Ref. 89864). Female M. robustus are distinguished from all other congeners, except those of M. melanopterus, M. vermivorus, and M. mpoto, by a gray to brown coloured body, which is white to yellow in other congeners; mouthbrooding females may have additional vertical bars on the flanks, but these are more diffuse than the horizontal stripes (Ref. 89864). Both male and female M. robustus are distinguished from M. melanopterus, M. vermivorus, and M. mpoto by a broader interorbital breadth, the width of which is 26.1-29.6% of head length, vs. 16.6-20.6% in M. melanopterus, 18.5-25.5% in M. vermivorus, and 14.8-21.8% in M. mpoto (Ref. 89864). Male M. robustus in breeding colouration are distinguished from all other congeners by a dark-blue body colour and two light blue horizontal stripes on the flank superimposed with dark-blue to black vertical bars; the bars are interrupted by the light-coloured horizontal lines; none of the other known species of Melanochromis has a male colouration where the horizontal and vertical elements of the pattern are expressed simultaneously; superficially, breeding males of the sympatric and smaller M. heterochromis have a similar colouration, albeit lacking the vertical bars; Melanochromis heterochromis can also be distinguished by its light-coloured mid-lateral stripe, which rarely spans more than two scales but is usually three to four scales deep in M. robustus; Melanochromis robustus is further distinguished from M. heterochromis by a longer snout, 33.8-38.0% of head length vs. 26.8-31.5% in M. heterochromis, and by a deeper caudal peduncle, 12.9-14.4% of standard length vs. 9.8-11.7% in M. heterochromis (Ref. 89864).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in the very shallow, less than 5 m deep, rocky habitat at the islands of Chinyankwazi and Mumbo in Lake Malawi (Ref. 89864). It has an opportunistic feeding behaviour in which the species is attracted to visible particles floating in the water column rather than collecting food by systematically browsing from the rocky substrate (Ref. 89864). Males in breeding colouration energetically defend spawning sites, which are located inside caves and crevices between the rocks, against conspecific males; male territories have an estimated diameter of 2-3 meters (Ref. 89864). Mouthbrooding females remain solitary and stay close to the rocky substrate (Ref. 89864).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Konings, A.F. and J.R. Stauffer Jr., 2012. Review of the Lake Malawi genus Melanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) with a description of a new species. Zootaxa 3258:1-27. (Ref. 89864)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)

  Near Threatened (NT) (B1a+2a); Date assessed: 09 June 2018

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries:
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00244 - 0.04107), b=3.04 (2.81 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (16 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.