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.

Astatotilapia calliptera
Astatotilapia calliptera
(eastern happy)

Copyright Info
Astatotilapia calliptera (Günther, 1894)

Common name: eastern happy

Synonyms and Other Names: Haplochromis callipterus (Günther 1894)

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Size: to 15 cm SL (Eccles 1992)

Native Range: Africa: Lakes Malawi, Chiuta, and Chilwa, and Zambezi River.

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 Astatotilapia calliptera are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL199720222Everglades; Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 5/20/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Inhabits shallow, vegetated nearshore areas in lakes, and adjacent streams or rivers (Konings 1990; Eccles 1992). Consumes a variety of prey, including benthic invertebrates, algae, and small fishes (Konings 1990).

Means of Introduction: Likely aquarium release.

Status: Unknown. Persistence over ~10 years and variable catch rates among years indicates that this species has reproduced (Shafland et al. 2008). However, a lack of reported specimens since 2007 suggests that this species may be extirpated from Florida.

Impact of Introduction: Unknown. Could potentially compete with co-occurring native fishes for food; however, its relatively small size makes this species a potential prey item for larger piscivorous fishes.

Remarks: Voucher specimens: FSBC 24416; UF 166562.

References: (click for full references)

Konings, A. 1990. Ad Koning's book of cichlids and all the other fishes of Lake Malawi. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications, Neptune City, NJ.

Eccles, D.H. 1992. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes: field guide to the freshwater fishes of Tanzania. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy. http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/t0605e/t0605e00.htm

Shafland, P.L., K.B. Gestring, and M.S. Stanford. 2008. Florida's exotic freshwater fishes - 2007. Florida Scientist 71(3):220-245.

Skelton, P.H. 2001. A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Struick Publishers, South Africa.

FishBase Summary

Author: Matt Neilson, and Pam Fuller

Revision Date: 5/7/2019

Peer Review Date: 6/15/2015

Citation Information:
Matt Neilson, and Pam Fuller, 2024, Astatotilapia calliptera (Günther, 1894): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=2597, Revision Date: 5/7/2019, Peer Review Date: 6/15/2015, Access Date: 5/20/2024

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.


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. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/20/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.