Kaligono (Nimbochromis polystigma) – Comprehensive Guide


Kaligono, scientifically known as Nimbochromis polystigma, is a type of cichlid fish found only in Lake Malawi in Africa’s Great Rift Valley.

This fish likes areas with a mix of rocks and sand or places with lots of plants. It’s usually found in habitats that have both rocks and sand along with plants.

Kaligonos often live in small groups near underwater plants like Vallisneria and Potamogeton. Their main food source is other fish.

Also, they hunt together either in pairs or large groups. Sometimes, when alone, these fish ambush their prey by staying still on the bottom but not lying on their side.

Kaligono Interesting Facts

  • Kaligono, also known as Nimbochromis polystigma, are found only in Lake Malawi in Africa and prefer areas with rocks, sand, and plants.
  • They grow up to 9.1 inches (23.0 centimeters) long and mainly feed on other fish.
  • Kaligonos live in freshwater with a pH between 7.5 to 8.5 and swim at depths of 0 to 35 meters but can go up to 76 meters deep.
  • Female Kaligonos protect their eggs by holding them in their mouth, caring for the baby fish this way as well.

Kaligono Habitat

Kaligono is endemic to Lake Malawi in Africa and is found everywhere in the lake. This fish lives in freshwater at the bottom of the lake and doesn’t migrate.

Kaligono prefers a pH between 7.5 to 8.5, with a hardness of 10 to 18 dH. Kaligonos usually swim at depths of 0 and 35 meters but can go up to 76 meters deep.

They enjoy water temperatures of around 73.4°F to 77°F (23°C to 25°C) and are found in tropical regions between latitudes of 8°S to 15°S.

Water Temperature:73.4°F to 77°F (23°C to 25°C)
Water pH:7.5 to 8.5 pH
Water Hardness:10 to 18 dH

Kaligono Physical Characteristics

Size: 9.1 inches (23.0 centimeters)

Kaligono grows up to 9.1 inches (23.0 centimeters) long. This fish has 15 to 17 dorsal spines, 9 to 12 dorsal soft rays, 3 to 4 anal spines, and 9 to 11 anal soft rays.

Its unique features include dark spots on pectoral fins and a speckled pattern on the body and head.

It doesn’t have visible dark bars around the eye or a downward-facing snout. The mouth is located at the front of the head.

The outer teeth in its jaw are mostly one-pointed (or two-pointed in some larger fish). The inner teeth usually have three points and may curve inward for large specimens.

There are 3 to 4 rows of scales on its cheek, as well as normal gill rakers or short ones with flat tips.

The color patterns vary based on factors such as gender and territory:

  • Live adult territorial males have blue-green lips; blue dorsal, caudal, and anal fins; red-orange lappets with a white band below; yellow/orange distal anal fin; dark pelvic fins with a white leading edge.
  • Less territorial males may have a blue head with yellow bodies featuring dark brown spots/speckles and brown-orange distal parts of their anal fin.
  • Females/immature males typically exhibit a white or yellow background covered in dark brown speckles/spots arranged in rows on their fins.
  • When preserved, these fish display various shades of yellows to browns with speckles/spots throughout their body that can be difficult to observe at times.

Kaligono Reproduction

Female Kaligono fish holds her eggs in her mouth to protect them. She also cares for the baby fish until they become self-sufficient.

Kaligono Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Nimbochromis polystigma
Also Known As:Kaligono
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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