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); polystigma: Derived from the Greek "polus" ("polu-" in compound words) = many and "stigma" = mark, spot, referring to the numerous spots on the body and pectoral fins (Ref. 55922).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.5 - 8.5; dH range: 10 - 18; non-migratory; depth range 0 - 76 m (Ref. 55922), usually 0 - 35 m (Ref. 55922). Tropical; 23°C - 25°C (Ref. 13371); 8°S - 15°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 23.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4989)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 15 - 17;
soft rays: 9 - 11. Diagnosis: dark spots on pectoral fins; pattern of speckles on body and head; without conspicuous dark bars radiating from the eye; no downward-directed snout; mouth terminal; premaxillary pedicel length <34% head length (Ref. 55922).
Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi; widespread.
Most common in mixed rock-sand habitats and vegetated areas (Ref. 55922). Occurs in small groups in rocky areas with beds of Vallisneria and Potamogeton (Ref. 3817). Feeds mainly on fish (Ref. 267). Hunts in pairs (Ref. 3817) or in large groups (Ref. 3817, 55922). When singly, sometimes ambushing prey by lying motionless on the substrate, but not on its side (Ref. 55922).
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
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
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=0.01445 (0.00589 - 0.03548), b=3.03 (2.82 - 3.24), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-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 vulnerability (24 of 100) .