Scientific name Nimbochromis
Higher classification Cichlid
|Lower classifications Nimbochromis venustus, Nimbochromis livingstonii, Nimbochromis fuscotaeniatus, Nimbochromis polystigma, Nimbochromis linni|
Female nimbochromis venustus from super cichlids
Nimbochromis is a small genus of haplochromine cichlids mostly endemic to Lake Malawi in East Africa. They are known as sleeper cichlids or (in Chichewa) kaligono ("sleepers"), due to their unique hunting behaviour.
- Female nimbochromis venustus from super cichlids
- Nimbochromis livingstoni are great boss fish
These piscivorous species are often seen lying motionless on the lake bottom near rocks where mbuna live, even adopting an unusual sideways position rarely seen in living fish. If smaller fishes approach, the Nimbochromis will "wake up" and try to seize them. Their coloration has an irregular dark cloudy pattern on lighter background; for one thing, this provides camouflage, but it is also suspected that it is – at least in some – evolving into aggressive mimicry by imitating a rotting fish carcass and thus luring scavengers to their demise.
Nimbochromis livingstoni are great boss fish
There are currently five recognized species in this genus: