Nimbochromis polystigma

Nimbochromis polystigma. Photo by Ad Konings​

Nimbochromis polystigma is a piscivore found throughout Lake Malawi. Its preferred habitat are areas with a mix of rocks and sand that support vegetation. In this biotype N. polystigma hunts in groups or individually. When alone, N. polystigma can attract prey by play dead using its color pattern to resemble a decaying fish. Both males and females display the brown blotched pattern. When males are looking to spawn, the pattern is replaced by blue coloration. Spawning males become highly aggressive and territorial.

In the aquarium Nimbochromis polystigma's color pattern is striking, especially since males can reach almost 12 inches. A large tank is a must since N. polystigma is active and likes to swim around. Don't be surprised to find your prized N. polystigma "dead" at the bottom of the aquarium, only to spring back to life. One male to a couple females is best. Males will become very aggressive when it comes time to spawn. Anything small enough to fit in its mouth will be eaten, so large tankmates are a must. A short article on N. polystigma can be found in the library. To discuss this species visit the Lake Malawi Species forum.