Common name: African Lake cichlid
Synonyms and Other Names: mbuna cichlid
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: The genus Pseudotropheus contains approximately 200 species (Axelrod 1993). Several large species complexes exist and the genus is in great need of systematic revision (Ribbink et al. 1983; Eccles and Trewavas 1989). Ribbink et al. (1983) surveyed Lake Malawi cichlids, providing descriptions of coloration and markings for identification. Many of the different color varieties, including hybrids, are common in the aquarium trade (Axelrod 1993). Color photographs of fish were given in Ribbink et al. (1983), Axelrod et al. (1985), Lewis et al. (1986), and Axelrod (1993). Depending on species, from about 5 to 18 cm (Axelrod 1993).
Size: 5 to 18 cm (Axelrod 1993).
Native Range: Tropical Africa. Lake Malawi.
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Puerto Rico &
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps
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 Pseudotropheus sp. are found here.
Table last updated 11/28/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release (Whiteside and Berkhouse 1992).
Status: Reported from Texas.
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.
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.
Eccles, D.H., and E. Trewavas. 1989. Malawian cichlid fishes: the classification of some haplochromine genera. Lake Fish Movies, Herten, Germany.
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.
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.
Whiteside, B.G., and C. Berkhouse. 1992. Some new collection locations for six fish species. Texas Journal of Science 44(4):494.
Revision Date: 5/9/2019
Peer Review Date: 6/7/1999
Nico, L., 2023, Pseudotropheus sp. Regan, 1922: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=473, Revision Date: 5/9/2019, Peer Review Date: 6/7/1999, Access Date: 11/28/2023
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.