Pseudotropheus crabro

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Bumblebee cichlid
Pseudotropheus Crabo Male.JPG
A male bumblebee cichlid
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Pseudotropheus
Species: P. crabro
Binomial name
Pseudotropheus crabro
(Ribbink & D. S. C. Lewis, 1982)
  • Melanochromis crabro Ribbink & D. S. C. Lewis, 1982
  • Maylandia crabro (Ribbink & D. S. C. Lewis, 1982)

Pseudotropheus crabro, the bumblebee cichlid or hornet cichlid, is a species of cichlid endemic to Lake Malawi where it is found in different habitats but most frequently in large caves or in the vicinity of large boulders. This species can reach a length of 22.86 centimetres (9.00 in) SL.[2]

The bumblebee cichlid has an elongate body with vertical yellow-and-black "bumblebee" bars. Juveniles are brightly colored but become darker when mature, especially for males. This fish is known for its ability to rapidly change its colors. They can grow up to 9 inches. They are mouthbrooders like many other cichlids from Lake Malawi.

In their natural habitats, the bumblebee cichlid is a cleaner specialized in feeding on parasites from larger fish particularly the catfish Bagrus meridionalis,[2] which apparently recognises the species as a cleaner. Notable is that P. crabro has also been found preying upon the eggs of the bagrus catfish, but will change colour to a dark brown while doing so.

Aquarium care[edit]

In the wild, the bumblebee cichlid is a specialized eater, but in aquarium they can eat whatever that is fed to them. Like other mbuna cichilds, this is a hardy and very aggressive fish that should be kept in a species or mbuna tank. The best practice is to keep one male with several females. Breeding is relatively easy. Females hold eggs and fry in their mouths for up to three weeks, then release a small number of healthy fry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kasembe, J. 2006. Maylandia crabro. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <>. Downloaded on 27 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Pseudotropheus crabro" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  • Malawi cichlids in their natural habitat, 3rd edition, Ad Konigs, Cichlid Press, 2001