Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Astatotilapia: Greek, astato = unstable + Bechuana, African native thiape = fish (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 2059), preferred ?; 13°S - 21°S
Africa: Lakes Malawi, Chiuta and Chilwa; Lower Zambezi, Buzi, Pungwe and Save River systems.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 15.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4967)
Occurs in vegetated areas in shallow water, but also found in rivers and streams around the lake. Feeds on invertebrates, algae, plants, small fishes and plankton (Ref. 5595). Females mouthbrood eggs (Ref. 6307).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Female lays batches of eggs on a substratum which the male begins to inseminate. Female collects the eggs almost immediately after laying a batch and incubates eggs in her mouth for 12-14 days at 26°C, releasing the young after which. Parent guards the young for 5-7 days, keeping them into her mouth when approached by predators or divers.
Skelton, P.H., 1993. A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p. (Ref. 7248)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5039 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00696 - 0.03143), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.41 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming Fec<1000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (21 of 100) .