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Melanochromis mpoto  Konings & Stauffer, 2012

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Melanochromis mpoto
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Cichlidae (Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Melanochromis: Greek, melas, melanos = black + Greek, chromis = a fish, perhaps a perch (Ref. 45335);  mpoto: The specific epithet, a noun in apposition, is derived from ChiTumbuka, the language spoken along the northwestern lake shore, and means “northern,” referring to the distribution pattern of this species (Ref. 89864).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 20 - 40 m (Ref. 89864).   Tropical

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: endemic to Lake Malawi, occurs in the northern part of the lake (Ref. 89864).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 9.1 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 89864)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 17 - 18; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 7 - 8. Diagnosis: Females and non-breeding males of Melanochromis mpoto are diagnosed from all congeners, except M. melanopterus, M. vermivorus, and M. baliodigma, by a dark brown body and a melanin pattern, when discernible, consisting of two dark horizontal stripes combined with dark vertical bars; the only other Melanochromis species with such a pattern is M. baliodigma, but M. mpoto differs from the latter species by having vertical bars that are narrower than either horizontal stripe; in M. baliodigma the vertical bars are much wider than the horizontal stripes; mouthbrooding females of M. robustus can exhibit vertical bars as well, but this species has a greater interorbital width compared to that of M. mpoto, 26.1-29.6% of head length vs. 14.8-21.8% in M. mpoto (Ref. 89864). Melanochromis mpoto differs from M. melanopterus and M. vermivorus by a shallower cheek depth, 15.4-21.7% of head length vs. 22.9-31.7% of head length in M. melanopterus and 28.2-36.2% of head length in M. vermivorus (Ref. 89864). Male M. mpoto in breeding colouration are light blue/blue without any bars or stripes visible on the flank; and Melanochromis mpoto males are thus distinguished from those of most other Melanochromis species except M. lepidiadaptes, M. kaskazini, and M. wochepa; Melanochromis mpoto differs from M. wochepa males and females by its longer lower jaw, 38.1-42.4% of head length vs. 26.7-32.5% in M. wochepa); it differs from M. lepidiadaptes males by the black submarginal band in its anal fin, which is entirely light blue in fully coloured males of M. lepidiadaptes; in partially coloured males of the latter species the black horizontal stripes are visible, but no vertical bars are present, as is the case in M. mpoto (Ref. 89864). Males of M. mpoto differ from those of M. kaskazini by possessing more teeth in the lower jaw, 18-23 vs. 10-16 in M. kaskazini; by having a shallower preorbital depth, 15.4-20.4% of head length vs. 19.3-26.9% in M. kaskazini; and by possessing a shallower cheek, 15.4-21.7% of head length vs. 19.8-28.0% in M. kaskazini; fully coloured males of M. mpoto and M. kaskazini are indistinguishable on the basis of colouration alone, but the basic melanin patterns of the two species, as seen in juveniles and adult females, differ dramatically (Ref. 89864).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Melanochromis mpoto is a non-specialized, non-territorial cichlid, which lives in rocky and intermediate habitats (Ref. 89864). It is often seen at depths of 20-40 m (Ref. 89864). It lives a predatory life but has also been seen feeding on plankton; larger specimens appear to be mainly opportunistic piscivores (Ref. 89864).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Kullander, Sven O. | Collaborators

Konings, A.F. and J.R. Stauffer Jr., 2012. Review of the Lake Malawi genus Melanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) with a description of a new species. Zootaxa 3258:1-27. (Ref. 89864)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries:
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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishes of Iran | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.00709 - 0.03231), 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):  3.3   ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (13 of 100) .