Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cyprinodontiformes
(Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers) > Nothobranchiidae
Etymology: Nothobranchius: Greek, nothos = false + Greek, brangchia = gill (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 7.0; dH range: 4 - 10; non-migratory. Tropical; 22°C - 25°C (Ref. 1672)
Africa: endemic to Unguja Island, Zanzibar archipelago, eastern Tanzania (Ref. 122075).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 3.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 122075); 3.2 cm SL (female)
soft rays: 15 - 16;
Vertebrae: 28. Diagnosis: It is distinguished from all congeners by the combination of the following character states: caudal fin red with black posterior margin in males; flank and fins without dark spots in females; pre-dorsal length in males 57.5-61.4% of standard length; 3 + 12-14 gill-rakers on first branchial arch; 27-28 scales in longitudinal series; 14 series of scales around caudal peduncle; single longitudinal row of scales between anterior supraorbital series of neuromasts; anterior supraorbital series of neuromasts arranged in two sections, anterior section with one well-developed neuromast, posterior with two; three neuromasts in posterior supraorbital series; 26-27 caudal-fin rays; 28 vertebrae; second proximal radial of dorsal fin between neural spines of 10th and 12th vertebrae (Ref. 122075).
Found in temporary pools, swamps, ditches and small streams (Ref. 3788). Used for biological control of mosquitos (Ref. 3788). One of the so called 'annual fishes' which has eggs that can withstand seasonal droughts (Ref. 1739). A bottom spawner, 3-4 months incubation. Quite popular with aquarists; difficult to maintain in an aquarium (Ref. 27139).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Thrives in seasonal rainwater pools. Spawns throughout the short breeding period until the pool dries up and all fish die except their drought-resistant eggs. Eggs go through a dry period of many weeks. When rain comes and pool fills, most of the eggs begin to develop and hatch within hours. Fry grow very fast. In only 6 to 8 weeks they are sexually mature and start breeding (Ref. 7062). In aquaria, males showed aggressive behavior toward each other. Females were being pushed down to the substratum by the males as a prelude to spawning.
Huber, J.H., 1996. Killi-Data 1996. Updated checklist of taxonomic names, collecting localities and bibliographic references of oviparous Cyprinodont fishes (Atherinomorpha, Pisces). Société Française d'Ichtyologie, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France, 399 p. (Ref. 27139)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
Endangered (EN) (B1ab(iii,iv)+2ab(iii,iv)); Date assessed: 09 December 2018
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: 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=0.01072 (0.00442 - 0.02595), b=2.92 (2.71 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.4 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (tm= 0.12-0.15; tmax < 1 yr).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .