Copadichromis azureus

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Copadichromis azureus
Copadichromis azureus.jpg

Copadichromis azureus

Order : Cichliformes
Family : Cichlids (Cichlidae)
Subfamily : Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe : Haplochromini
Genre : Copadichromis
Type : Copadichromis azureus
Scientific name
Copadichromis azureus
Konings , 1990

Copadichromis azureus is an African cichlid species that is endemic to southern Lake Malawi and belongs to the Utaka cichlid group.


Copadichromis azureus (from Latin azureus "blue") reaches a body length of 12 to 14.6 cm and is one of the smaller Utaka cichlids. Adult males are brightly colored, metallic blue, not only on their bodies, but also on their unpaired fins. Depending on the mood, ten dark, vertical bands are visible on the sides of the body. Characteristic features of the species are three dark spots on the sides of the body, which are covered by the vertical bands in the male who are ready to reproduce. Females are inconspicuously gray-brown in color, the three spots are all the more prominent.

Way of life

A male of Copadichromis azureus waits in the center of its crater-like sand nest for females ready to spawn.

Copadichromis azureus lives close to the coast in the southern section of Lake Malawi at depths of 10 to 25 meters in the transition area from the rock zone to the sandy coast. The territorial males build large, crater-shaped nests in the sandy seabed, which have a diameter of 19 to 33 cm and in which the female lays the eggs, but takes them into their mouths immediately after spawning (mouth brood care ). The brood care is done exclusively by the female and the young fish leave the mouth after about three weeks, when they are already very well developed and independent. Copadichromis azureus feeds on plankton and bottom-dwelling invertebrates .


Copadichromis azureus was imported years before its first description for aquarium purposes, assigned to the genus Haplochromis and listed in older specialist aquarium literature under the names Haplochromis chrysonotus "mbenji" or Haplochromis chrysonotus "painteri". It was first described in 1999 by the Dutch ichthyologist Ad Konings .


  • Horst Linke, Wolfgang Staek: African Cichlids II, cichlids from East Africa. Tetra-Verlag, Bissendorf 1997, ISBN 3-8935-6152-8 .
  • Erwin Schraml: Copadichromis azureus Konings, 1990. In: Claus Schaefer, Torsten Schröer (Hrsg.): The large lexicon of aquaristics. Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8001-7497-9 , p. 252.

Web links

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