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The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.




Melanochromis auratus
Melanochromis auratus
(golden mbuna)
Fishes
Exotic
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Melanochromis auratus (Boulenger, 1897)

Common name: golden mbuna

Synonyms and Other Names: olden cichlid, golden pseudotropheus, Nyassa golden cichlid

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Another commonly used name is Pseudotropheus auratus (see discussion by Ribbink et al. 1983). According to Eccles and Trewavas (1989), the genera Melanochromis and Pseudotropheus are in particular need of revision and critical appraisal. Based on Trewavas (1983b), Bowers and Stauffer (1993) listed the defining characteristics of the genus Melanochromis. Distinguishing characteristics of M. auratus (mainly color patterns) were provided by Ribbink et al. (1983). Dentition and color patterns associated with this species were described by Fryer and Iles (1972); discussion and photographs of different color patterns were also provided by Lewis et al. (1986). Additional color photographs or illustrations of fish were given by Goldstein (1970), Ribbink et al. (1983), Axelrod et al. (1985), Petrovicky (1988), and Axelrod (1993). Males are predominantly blue and black; females are gold and black (Ribbink et al. (1983).

Size: 11 cm (Petrovicky 1988).

Native Range: Tropical Africa. Lake Malawi (Lewis et al. 1986).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Alaska
Hawaii auto-generated map
Hawaii
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Melanochromis auratus are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Florida199319931Tampa Bay
Nevada198319841Lake Mead

Table last updated 10/4/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.


Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.

Status: Reported from Nevada.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: The species is common in the aquarium trade. Females and breeding or territorial males have very different color patterns (Ribbink et al. 1983; Lewis et al. 1986).

There are no known voucher specimens.

References: (click for full references)

Axelrod, H. R. 1993. The most complete colored lexicon of cichlids. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Axelrod, H. R., W. E. Burgess, N. Pronek, and J. G. Walls. 1985. Dr. Axelrod's atlas of freshwater aquarium fishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Bowers, N. J., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr. 1993. New species of rock-dwelling cichlid (Pisces: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa, with comments on Melanochromis vermivorus Trewavas. Copeia 1993(3):715-722.

Courtenay, W. - Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL.

Courtenay, W. R., Jr., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr.. 1990. The introduced fish problem and the aquarium fish industry. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society 21(3):145-159.

Courtenay, W. R., Jr., D. P. Jennings, and J. D. Williams. 1991. Appendix 2: exotic fishes. Pages 97-107 in Robins, C. R., R. M. Bailey, C. E. Bond, J. R. Brooker, E. A. Lachner, R. N. Lea, and W. B. Scott. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada, 5th edition. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 20. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, MD.

Courtenay, W. R., Jr., D. A. Hensley, J. N. Taylor, and J. A. McCann. 1984. Distribution of exotic fishes in the continental United States. Pages 41-77 in W. R. Courtenay, Jr., and J. R. Stauffer, Jr., editors. Distribution, biology and management of exotic fishes. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Courtenay, W. R., Jr., D. A. Hensley, J. N. Taylor, and J. A. McCann. 1986. Distribution of exotic fishes in North America. Pages 675-698 in C. H. Hocutt, and E. O. Wiley, editors. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103-118.

Eccles, D. H., and E. Trewavas. 1989. Malawian cichlid fishes: the classification of some haplochromine genera. Lake Fish Movies, Herten, Germany.

Fryer, G., and T. D. Iles. 1972. The cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, England.

Goldstein, R. J. 1970. Cichlids. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Lewis, D., P. Reinthal, and J. Trendall. 1986. A guide to the fishes of Lake Malawi National Park. World Wildlife Fund, Gland, Switzerland. 71 pp.

Petrovicky, I. 1988. Aquarium fish of the world. Hamlyn, London, England.

Ribbink, A. J., B. A. Marsh, A. C. Marsh, A. C. Ribbink, and B. J. Sharp. 1983. A preliminary survey of the cichlid fishes of rocky habitats in Lake Malawi. South African Journal of Zoology (Zoology Dierkunde) 18(3):149-310.

Trewavas, E. 1983b. Nouvel examen des genres et sous-genres du complexe Pseudotropheus-Melanochromis du lac Malawi (Pisces, Perciformes, Cichlidae). Revue Francaise d'Aquariologie 10:97-106.

FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 6/7/1999

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2019, Melanochromis auratus (Boulenger, 1897): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=460, Revision Date: 6/7/1999, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 3/25/2019

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

Disclaimer:

The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2019]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [3/25/2019].

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