Astatotilapia brownae from Lake Victoria

Astatotilapia brownae

Astatotilapia brownae. Photo by Greg Steeves

Some might say that the name of the species pictured above is Haplochromis brownae, but for now I will refer to this species as Astatotilapia brownae. Many species from the Lake Victoria basin are classified under the catch-all genus Haplochromis. Over the years there has been an effort to reclassify many of these species into other genus. As far as I know, this species is still considered a Haplochromis but it is also found under the Astatotilapia name.

Originally found in Lake Victoria, this species is believed extinct in the wild. The Nile perch led to a drastic reduction in their numbers. The most recent surveys has come up with fish that appear to be A. brownae, but are misdentifications or hybrids. Poor water quality has let to visibility issues which in turn has caused many fish to spawn with the wrong species. Those who have kept this species report that these fish can be somewhat aggressive, but not as bad as some of the most aggressive Victorians. Males grow to about 4″ and should be kept with multiple females to distribute aggression. To discuss Astatotilapia brownae and other Lake Victoria basin species, visit the Lake Victoria forum.

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