Pseudotropheus perspicax

Pseudotropheus perspicax includes some very nice color variants such as the Ndumbi Red Top and the Orange Cap. It is best to keep them as harem.


Pseudotropheus perspicax

Both the Pseudotropheus Red Top Ndumbi and the Pseudotropheus Orange Cap are geographical variants of the Pseudotropheus perspicax. In 1995 Ad Konings placed a number of color variations in the perspicax group. The Perspicax Yellow Breast comes from Pombo Reef, just south of Ndumbi Reef. The Orange Cap also comes from Ndumbi Reef, although it is also found at Undu Point. The very beautiful Red Top Ndumbi occurs as the name says at Ndumbi Reef. The species is further closely related to the Pseudotropheus socolofi.


Despite its beautiful appearance; a pale blue body with a bright red “cap” running from its lips to its dorsal fin, Pseudotropheus perspicax Red Top Ndumbi has not really won the hearts of the aquarists. This also applies to his brother Pseudotropheus perspicax Orange Cap. They are therefore not often offered. This may also be because the females are not very fertile. Good females have small nests of 10 to 15 eggs, but quickly have a mouth full of eggs again.

The males are very territorial and occupy a small crevice or spot between some rocks which they can defend very fiercely. This species is therefore best combined with somewhat larger strong species.


In the wild, Pseudotropheus perspicax combs the algae in search of small animals and of course the algae. His diet should therefore consist mainly of vegetarian food such as spirulina flakes, alternated with a little bit of mysis, krill or brine shrimp.

The Aquarium

In view of the aggression towards conspecifics, only 1 male can be kept in the aquarium with preferably 3 females. If only 1 female is kept, the pressure from the male is much too great, she will not survive for long. In Lake Malawi, too, females usually withdraw between the rocks. The aquarium must therefore provide sufficient hiding places to prevent casualties. This spunky little Mbuna certainly deserves its place in the aquarium despite its fierce nature.



John de Lange

Copyright images

Kevin Bauman –

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