Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Hemichromis: Greek, hemis = half + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335). More on author: Peters.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 7.0 - ? ; dH range: ? - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 23°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060); 18°N - 17°S
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 8.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 20.4 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 53405); max. published weight: 300.00 g (Ref. 3799)
(total): 14 - 15;
soft rays: 8 - 11. Diagnosis: 5 dark blotches or cross bars on sides, often alternating with narrower intercalary bars, the first blotch confluent with the opercular spot, the fifth on caudal-fin base; upper profile of snout straight or concave (Ref. 53405).
Africa: widely distributed in West Africa, where it is known from most hydrographic basins (Ref. 53405). Also in the Nile basin, Lake Chad basin and in the upper Zambezi (Ref. 5644). Distribution of this species and overlap with Hemichromis elongatus unclear, but probably absent from the Congo basin (see also Ref. 43352, 52307, 53405, 81260). Introduced around 1970 in a stream fed by hot springs in Villach (Austria) (Ref. 59043).
Occurs in both forest and savannah biotopes (Ref. 5644); present in littoral riverine habitats and permanent floodplain lagoons with clear water. Feeds on shrimps, insects and small fishes. A nesting substrate spawner which breeds in the early summer. Used for tilapia control (Ref. 4537). Maximum TL was recorded at 26.5 cm.
Introduced individuals in Austria reported to form pairs during spawning. Female deposits eggs on exposed hard surfaces such as stones or wood. Both parents guard larvae and juveniles for 4-8 weeks (Ref. 59043).
Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1992. Cichlidae. p. 714-779. In C. Levêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Tome 2. Coll. Faune Tropicale n° 28. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique and O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, 902 p. (Ref. 7378)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.01274 - 0.01798), b=2.96 (2.91 - 3.01), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.49 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=1.20; Fec < 1,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (14 of 100) .