Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Melanochromis: Greek, melas, melanos = black + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 8.5; dH range: 10 - 15. Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 1672); 12°S - 15°S
Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi (Ref. 5663, 89864).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 11.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5663)
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).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Lays up to 40 eggs. Female takes brood into her mouth and takes care of the young.
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. (Ref. 5663)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Aquarium: highly commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01445 (0.00674 - 0.03099), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm<1).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .