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Nimbochromis venustus

Nimbochromis venustus, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Ordo: Perciformes
Subordo: Labroidei
Familia: Cichlidae
Subfamilia: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribus: Haplochromini
Genus: Nimbochromis
Species: Nimbochromis venustus


Nimbochromis venustus (Boulenger, 1908)

Lectotype: BMNH 1908.10.26.66. [Paralectotypes: (4) BMNH 1908.10.26.67-69 (3)]. Lectotype designated by Eccles & Trewavas, 1989:291.

Type locality: Lake Malawi [Lake Nyasa] and the Shire River, southeastern Africa.


* Cyrtocara venusta (Boulenger, 1908)
* Haplochromis simulans Regan, 1922
* Haplochromis venustus Boulenger, 1908


* Boulenger, G.A. 1908: Diagnoses of new fishes discovered by Capt. E. L. Rhoades in Lake Nyassa. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 8), 2(9): 238-243.
* Snoeks, J. & M. Hanssens 2004: Identification guidelines to other non-mbuna. Pp. 266-310 in: Snoeks, J. (ed). The cichlid diversity of Lake Malawi/Nyasa/Niassa: identification, distribution and taxonomy. Cichlid Press, El Paso, Texas: 1-360.
* FishBase link : species Nimbochromis venustus (Mirror site)


Nimbochromis venustus, commonly called Venustus Hap or Giraffe Hap, is a Haplochromine cichlid native to Lake Malawi in Africa. It prefers the deeper regions of Lake Malawi where it hunts smaller juvenile cichlids with a specialised hunting technique. After spotting prey, it will partially submerge itself into the sand and lay dormant until the chosen fish comes within reach. The adult venustus will then dart out of the sand and strike. It is related to Nimbochromis livingstonii.

It is a popular freshwater aquarium fish which grows between 8 and 12 inches (20–30 cm) in length. Due to its size and aggressive nature, it should be kept in aquariums of around 300 litres in capacity with other large freshwater fish such as parrot cichlid and other large Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika cichlids. It prefers rocky environments, and a well kept specimen may live for 12 years. The venustus typically has a yellow and black spotted colouration males have a hint of blue on the head and fins.

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Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License