Melanochromis melanopterus, photo copyright © 2001 by M. K. Oliver

A tagged Melanochromis melanopterus, photo copyright © 2001 by M. K. Oliver

Above: Melanochromis melanopterus is a common, aggressive rocky shore mbuna species that feeds opportunistically, but is particularly specialized as a predator on fry and young cichlids (notice the relatively elongated head and jaws). This is the type species of the genus Melanochromis. The upper photo shows an individual from Monkey Bay, Malawi. The lower photo above illustrates another individual, also from Monkey Bay, which has deep orange margins on the unpaired fins. Notice the bead tag that has been attached to this fish, which was one of those marked and released in a study of mbuna home range size (Oliver, 1984). Both photos copyright © 2001 by M. K. Oliver.

Below: Melanochromis melanopterus (126 mm SL) from Monkey Bay; (at right): left premaxilla (lateral view) and anterior outer row tooth of M. melanopterus (drawings by Elizabeth M. Tarr). Drawings from Fig. 10 of Ribbink et al., 1983; reproduced by permission of the Zoological Society of Southern Africa.

Melanochromis melanopterus, illustrations from Ribbink et al. (1983)


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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 1 June 2008
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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