Rhamphochromis esox (Boulenger, 1908)
Rhamphochromis esox
photo by Dubosc, J.

Family:  Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Max. size:  42 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; pH range: 7.4 - 8.5; dH range: 5 - 30; depth range 2 - 65 m
Distribution:  Africa: Endemic to Lake Malawi.
Diagnosis:  Diagnosis: elongated and very streamlined shape; body in cross-section more rounded than congenerics; frequently exhibits a horizontal stripe (Ref. 55949). Description: large, rather cylindrical species with very slender body; lower jaw very deep with smooth surface; teeth short, straight and widely-spaced, generally not visible when the mouth is closed (Ref. 55949). Coloration: countershaded, dark grey dorsally usually with a blue metallic iridescence in life; usually with an indistinct dark horizontal stripe on the flanks; pelvic and anal fins either grey-white or orange; sometimes 2-9 orange-yellow eggspots on anal fin (Ref. 55949).
Biology:  Inhabits the open water (Ref. 5595). Widely distributed in shelf and rocky reef zones, usually where the bottom is fairly shallow; rarely found offshore; small juveniles widely distributed in the littoral zone in swampy, sandy and rocky habitats; adults regularly encountered near sandy beaches in the shallows (Ref. 55949). Feeds on fish species like the small Utaka and the lake sardine Usipa (Engraulicypris sardella) (Ref. 5595).
IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable (VU); Date assessed: 23 May 2018 (A2d) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 


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