Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Nimbochromis: Latin, nimbus = stormy, rainy + Greek, chromis, a fish, perhaps a perch; it has dark clouded melanic blotches on the body (Ref. 45335); livingstonii: Named after Dr. David Livingstone, famous explorer of the African continent. During one of his expeditions, the first fishes from Lake Malawi/Nyasa were collected for scientific studies (Ref. 55922).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 8.0 - 8.0; dH range: 9 - 19; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 114 m (Ref. 55922), usually ? - 78 m (Ref. 55922). Tropical; 25°C - 28°C (Ref. 30491); 9°S - 15°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5595); 20.0 cm TL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 15 - 16;
soft rays: 9 - 10. Diagnosis: unique color pattern with 4 conspicuous dark bars radiating from the eye; body silvery, yellowish or blue with a highly contrasting black blotched pattern with anastomosing horizontal and vertical components; faint spots on the pectoral fins; no speckles on head and body; head length 34.0-37.0% of standard length; body depth 32.9-38.3% of standard length; dorsal fin base 49.6-53.7% of standard length; lower jaw 37.5-46.2% head length; head width 40.8-47.0% head length (Ref. 55922).
Africa: widespread occurrence in Lake Malawi, upper Shire River and Lake Malombe.
Occurs in all kinds of habitats but is more common in vegetated areas of sheltered bays (Ref. 5595). Prefers soft, muddy bottoms but is also seen in purely rocky environments (Ref. 5595, 55922). Feeds on fish (Ref. 5595). Has been observed to mimic as dead and then feed on small fish that get close (Ref. 3817, 13371, 55922). Is usually solitary and territorial (Ref. 3817).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Female takes brood into her mouth and takes care of the young.
Maréchal, C., 1991. Nimbochromis. p. 296-299. 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. (Ref. 4989)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00690 - 0.03171), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.2 ±0.73 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec<1000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (25 of 100) .