Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Mchenga: Name from Chichewa, the indigenous language of Malawi; mchenga (sand), was chosen to indicate the type of bowers constructed by the members of this genus. Gender is feminine..
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; depth range 10 - 15 m (Ref. 58018). Tropical, preferred ?
Africa: Lake Malawi.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 7.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27597)
(total): 16 - 17;
soft rays: 9. Diagnosis: yellow ocelli on anal fin of females and non-breeding males; juveniles and females with hyaline fins; breeding male without black markings in caudal fin (Ref. 57549). 10-16 gill rakers on first ceratobranchial (Ref. 57549), 4-5 on epibranchial (Ref. 27597). Teeth in outer rows on dentary and premaxilla of mature males small and bicuspid (Ref. 57549).
Forages in the water column, feeding mainly on zooplankton (Ref. 27597).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Male builds cone-shaped bowers in breeding arenas on the rock/sand interface at water depths of 15-25 m.
Stauffer, J.R. Jr., T.J. LoVullo and K.R. McKaye, 1993. Three new sand-dwelling cichlids from Lake Malawi, Africa, with a discussion of the status of the genus Copadichormis (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Copeia 1993(4):1017-1027. (Ref. 27597)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5156 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01479 (0.00696 - 0.03143), b=2.97 (2.80 - 3.14), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.45 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .