Nocturnal shoaling species; favors large river channels with a soft bottom and fringing vegetation (Ref. 7248, 52193). Found mainly in sheltered bays, lagoons and swampy areas; occurs also in typical sandy or rocky rivers (Ref. 13337). Feeds on bottom-living invertebrates (Ref. 52193) and insect larvae at night (Ref. 5595). Known to migrate up tributary rivers of Lake Kariba during rainy season, though it is not yet clear whether this is a breeding migration (Ref. 13337). Breeds during summer rainy season; females carry up to 5,000 eggs (Ref. 7248).