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.

Pseudotropheus socolofi
Pseudotropheus socolofi

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Pseudotropheus socolofi Johnson, 1974

Common name: Pindani

Synonyms and Other Names: Socolofi's mbuna (Lake Malawi cichlid).

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: The genus is currently recognized as containing two species, blue mbuna Labeotropheus fuelleborni Ahl 1927 and scrapermouth mbuna L. trewavasae Fryer 1956; both have large, protruding, fleshy snouts and exhibit polychromatism (Ribbink et al. 1983). Ribbink et al. (1983) and Lewis et al. (1986) described the various color morphs and distinguished between the two known species. Color photographs were given in Ribbink et al. (1983), Axelrod et al. (1985), Lewis et al. (1986), and Axelrod (1993).

Size: 7 cm SL

Native Range: Tropical Africa. Lake Malawi in Malawi and Mozambique.

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Large numbers of juveniles and adult blue African cichlids were observed by C. R. Robins in large rock pits at or near the MetroZoo in south Miami, Dade County, Florida, ca. 1987 (Courtenay, personal communication). Robins initially reported that the species, tentatively identified as L. trewavasae, was apparently established; however, no additional reports of this species are known from the site. The MetroZoo record was apparently the basis for the listing of Labeotropheus sp. in later publications as introduced but not established in Florida (e.g., Courtenay and Stauffer 1990; Courtenay et al. 1991).

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 socolofi are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL198719871Florida Southeast Coast
IL198820182Lower Illinois-Lake Chautauqua; Lower Illinois-Senachwine Lake

Table last updated 7/25/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: Intentional release for aquaculture (personal communication).

Status: Reported from Florida.

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: Both known species of Labeotropheus are found in the aquarium trade. Axelrod (1993) stated that preserved specimens of L. trewavasae and L. fuelleborni cannot be differentiated. C. R. Robins (personal communication) recently made clear to us that the identification of these cichlids as Labeotropheus should be considered highly tentative. Based on recent fish samples taken by us from moats surrounding some of the exhibits, the fish earlier reported from the Miami MetroZoo rock pits actually may have been one of the other blue cichlids (i.e., Pseudotropheus sp.). The fish are still at Metrozoo where they ahve been moved around to most lakes on the property for aesthetics and to provide food for captive and wild birds and mammals. They do not seem to have escaped the lakes as they ahve never been collected in surrounding canals.

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.

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.

Johnson, D.S. 1974. Three new cichlids from Lake Malawi. Today's Aquarist 1(3): 38-42.

Konings, A. 1990. Koning's Book of Cichlids and All the Other Fishes of Lake Malawi. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey.

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus

Revision Date: 8/16/2019

Peer Review Date: 8/15/2012

Citation Information:
Leo Nico, and Bill Loftus, 2024, Pseudotropheus socolofi Johnson, 1974: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=459, Revision Date: 8/16/2019, Peer Review Date: 8/15/2012, Access Date: 7/25/2024

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.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/25/2024].

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