Haplochromis xanthopteryx 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Cichlidae

Scientific Name: Haplochromis xanthopteryx
Species Authority: (Seehausen & Bouton, 1998)
Common Name(s):
English Black Pseudo-nigricans
Haplochromis sp. nov. "black pseudonigricans"
Haplochromis sp. nov. "black & yellow pseudonigricans"
Haplochromis (Lithochromis) xanthopteryx (Seehausen & Bouton, 1998)
Lithochromis xanthopteryx Seehausen & Bouton, 1998
Taxonomic Source(s): Froese, R. and Pauly, D. 2016. FishBase (version 01/2016). Available at: (Accessed: 08/06/2016).
Taxonomic Notes: This species is valid in the genus Haplochromis in Fishbase (Froese and Pauly 2016) based on Van Oijen (1996). It is valid in the genus Lithochromis in Catalog of Fishes (Eschmeyer et al. 2016) based on Seehausen et al. (1998). Previously, this species appeared on the Red List in the genus Lithochromis but the taxonomy of FishBase is now followed. An updated Red List assessment has been produced to reflect this taxonomic change.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2010-04-01
Assessor(s): Witte, F., Brooks, E. & de Zeeuw, M.P.
Reviewer(s): Darwall, W.R.T. & Smith, K.
In the past, the species was abundant. The species has declined since the 1970s, however, the species is still thought to be common where it is found. It is however restricted to the steeply sloping eastern side of the northern Mwanza Gulf in southern Lake Victoria, and is increasingly threatened by increased hybridisation due to decreased water transparency. It is therefore assessed as Vulnerable.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the steeply sloping eastern side of the northern Mwanza Gulf in southern Lake Victoria. It is abundant there at all rocky outcrops between the Gabalema Islands in the north and Butimba Point in the south. It is less abundant at the Nyegezi Rocks at the southern distribution limit of the species (Seehausen et al. 1998).
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Number of Locations:1
Upper elevation limit (metres):1134
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The frequency of occurrence of this species was recorded as 10-50% within the Mwanza Gulf in 1978/79, increasing to more than 50% within Mwanze Gulf and Speke Gulf in 1990 (Witte et al. 1992). It was however reported at 9/22 catch localities in the Mwanze and Speke Gulf between 2004-2006 (Mizoiri et al. 2008), and is thought to be locally abundant.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is restricted to rocky substrates in the littoral zone. The species is restricted to places with large, very steeply sloping boulders, where it inhabits the immediately inshore slope between 0.5 and at least 5 m water depth, and lives in crevices between the boulders, including rock pools within emerged rocky reefs. It is an insectivore/zooplanktivore, and its diet consists of benthic invertebrates, periphyton and fish.
Generation Length (years):1

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: An additional threat is capture as bait for long line fishery.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat to this species is hybridization due to decreased water transparency (on account of eutrophication and erosion leading to increased sedimentation and runoff) interfering with mate recognition visual cues (Mrosso et al. 2003). An additional threat is capture as bait for long line fishery.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known, but the population trend of this species should continue to be monitored. Habitat restoration is required to protect the species from further degradation.

Citation: Witte, F., Brooks, E. & de Zeeuw, M.P. 2016. Haplochromis xanthopteryx. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T60570A97110115. . Downloaded on 28 October 2016.
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