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Melanochromis auratus  (Boulenger, 1897)

Golden mbuna
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Image of Melanochromis auratus (Golden mbuna)
Melanochromis auratus
Picture by Schüür, G.

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 / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 8.5; dH range: 10 - 15.   Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 1672); 12°S - 15°S

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 11.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5663)

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

Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi (Ref. 5663, 89864).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in rocky habitats. Feeds from the biocover by nibbling and picking on the algae (Ref. 5595). Aquarium keeping: aggressive towards conspecifics; many females for one male; minimum aquarium size 100 cm (Ref. 51539).

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

Maréchal, C., 1991. Melanochromis. p. 258-265. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Aquarium: highly commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00863 - 0.03498), b=2.96 (2.79 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.