Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
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); kaskazini: The specific epithet kaskazini means 'northern' in Kiswahili, the language spoken along the shores of the species’ distribution.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 5 - 40 m (Ref. 80784). Tropical; 10°S - 11°S, 34°E - 35°E
Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi (Ref. 80784, 89864).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 10.4 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 80784)
Morphology | Morphometrics
Melanochromis kaskazini is distinguished from all congeners except M. lepidiadaptes by its territorial male coloration, because it exhibits incomplete reverse male-female stripe coloration. Males are cobalt blue and lack any light colored mid-lateral or dorso-lateral stripe. Females are distinguished from other
Melanochromis, except M. parallelus, M. heterochromis, M. lepidiadaptes, M. melanopterus, and M. simulans, by a white body color, and differ from these five species by a yellow/orange anal fin, which is white with a black submarginal band in the others. Male M. kaskazini with breeding coloration are distinguished from those of M. lepidiadaptes by a shallower preorbital (21.9 % vs. 31.8 % HL; ranges: 19.3–26.9 vs. 26.9–35.6), a longer head (34.9 % vs. 31.9 % SL; ranges: 33.6–37.8 vs. 28.4–36.4), a shorter post-orbital head length (42.4 % vs. 47.8 % HL; ranges: 38.4–44.6 vs. 41.8–52.1), and a longer lower jaw (40.3 % vs. 36.8 % HL; ranges: (36.4–44.6 vs. 32.2–40.1).
Inhabits the intermediate habitat; not territorial; hunts larger invertebrates and small fishes; small foraging groups frequently seen (Ref. 80784).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Konings-Dudin, G, A.F. Konings and J.R. Stauffer Jr., 2009. Descriptions of three new species of Melanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) and a redescription of M. vermivorus. Zootaxa 2076:37-59. (Ref. 80784)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
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
): 3.4 ±0.5 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (14 of 100) .