Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Cichliformes
(Cichlids, convict blennies) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Tropheus: Greek, tropaion = defeat, a memorial of a fighting war, trophy; because of their specialized teeth were such an obvious feeding adaptation (Ref. 45335). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 8.0 - 9.0; dH range: 9 - 19. Tropical; 24°C - 26°C (Ref. 1672); 3°S - 9°S
Africa: Endemic to Lake Tanganyika.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 14.5 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5713); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 52198)
Adults are solitary (Ref. 86760). Feed on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter (Ref. 7020). Females brood their young in the mouth (Ref. 86760). Aquarium keeping: feed on epiphyton; many females for one male; minimum aquarium size 150 cm (Ref. 51539).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Female lays only a few eggs. Female collects eggs up into her mouth before they sink to the bottom and then moves to the genital area of the male. There the sperm are shed and taken into the mouth of the female where fertilization takes place. Eggs hatch after about 4 weeks of incubation (Ref. 7020). Produces 5-17 eggs (Ref. 1672). In one study, eggs from the cleavage phase and larvae of up to 1.45 cm TL are mouthbrooded by female parents ranging from 6.2 to 7.9 cm SL long (Ref. 86760).
Maréchal, C. and M. Poll, 1991. Tropheus. p. 521-525. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5713)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Estimates 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), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; based on diet studies.
Generation time: 1.7 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 2 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=10; K >0.30; Fec=5-17).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (22 of 100) .