Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Abactochromis: Name from Latin 'abactus' meaning driven away, banished, expelled; and 'chromis' which is widely used as a root in generic names of cichlids. The name alludes to the solitary, wandering, apparently non-territorial habits of living individuals, and the removal of this species from Melanochromis which it has mistakenly remained for 75 years.. More on author: Trewavas.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.0 - 8.5; dH range: 10 - 15; depth range 0 - 30 m (Ref. 85491). Tropical; 23°C - 26°C (Ref. 1672); 11°S - 14°S
Africa: Lake Malawi (Ref. 85491).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 11.5 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 85491)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 15 - 17;
Vertebrae: 28 - 29. This species is distinguished from all other mbuna genera by the following characters: strongly hypertrophied , papillose, medially lobate lips; large head at least 40% SL in > 5 cm SL individuals; premaxillary pedicel (ascending process) >35% HL. Other non-mbuna haplochromine species endemic to Lake Malawi resemble this species in having enlarged and often lobate lips, but all can be distinguished as follows: Placidochromis milomo with total vertebrae 30-31 (vs. 28-29 in Abactochromis), segmented anal-fin rays 9-10 (vs. 7-8), broad, black vertical bars below the dorsal-fin base 4 (vs. 6-7 narrow subdorsal bars when distinct), reaches at least 19 cm SL (vs. ca. 12 cm); Otopharynx pachycheilus with longer pectoral fin 38-44% SL (vs. 19-27), shorter premaxillary pedicel 24-35% HL (vs. 36-46), color pattern of three lateral spots (vs. vertical bars with no lateral spots), depth range of 78-135 m (vs. 0-30 m); Cheilochromis euchilus total vertebrae 30-31, head and jaws not laterally compressed (vs. distinctly compressed), 2-3- horizontal stripes (vs. narrow bars with no horizontal stripes); Chilotilapia rhoadesii total vertebrae 31, thickened lips with no median lobes (vs. strongly lobate medially), adult teeth for crushing gastropod molluscs - robust with crowns shaped like grains of wheat, blunt, recurved and grooved on the outer surface (vs. oral dentition not similarly specialized), head and jaws not laterally compressed (vs. compressed), 2-3 horizontal stripes (vs. narrow bars with no horizontal stripes); Eclectochromis spp. with total vertebrae 30, segmented dorsal-fin rays 10-11 (vs. 7-9), thickened lips with no median lobes, some submolariform posteromedian pharyngeal teeth (vs. posteromedian teeth slightly enlarged by their crowns laterally compressed), color pattern of vertical bars alternating with dark spots along dorsum (vs. bars only); Lichnochromis acuticeps total vertebrae 32, thickened lips with no median lobes, with oblique stripe from nape to base of caudal fin (vs. no oblique stripe) (Ref. 85491).
Found over rocky substrate (Ref. 6307).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oliver, M.K. and M.E. Arnegard, 2010. A new genus for Melanochromis labrosus, a problematic Lake Malawi cichlid with hypertrophied lips (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters 21(3):209-232. (Ref. 85491)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00747 - 0.04041), b=3.03 (2.83 - 3.23), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (15 of 100) .