Northern Africa: The species is recorded from Mauritania. It is rare in Egypt (Manzalah Lake).
Northeastern Africa: It is recorded in the Ghazal and Jebel systems, including Lake No, Sudan, and Baro River, Ethiopia
Western Africa: The species is known across the majority of the basins in Western Africa.
- Daget, J. and G.G. Teugels 1991 Hemichromis. p. 187-194. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa, CLOFFA, ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 5644)
- Ita, E.O. 1984 Kainji (Nigeria). p. 43-103. In J.M. Kapetsky and T. Petr (eds.) Status of African reservoir fisheries. CIFA Tech. Pap. 10:326 p. (Ref. 3799)
Zambezi River Benthopelagic Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Zambezi River system of southern Africa. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the bottom of the water column, feeding on benthos and zooplankton
Nutrient levels in the Zambezi River are relatively low, especially in the upper Zambezi; in that reach, above Victoria Falls, most of the catchment drains Kalahari sands, whose nutrient levels are inherently low due to their aeolian formation; moreover, agricultural fertilizer addition throughout the Zambezi watershed is low, due to the shortage of capital available to farmers of this region.
Nitrate levels (as nitrogen) in the upper Zambezi are typically in the range of .01 to .03 milligrams per liter. Correspondingly electrical conductivity of the upper Zambezi is on the order of 75 micro-S per centimeter, due to the paucity of ion content. From the Luangwa River downstream nitrate levels elevate to .10 to .18 milligrams per liter, and electrical conductivity rises to a range of two to four times the upper Zambezi levels. Not surprisingly, pH, calcium ion concentration, bicarbonate and electrical conductivity are all higher in portions of the catchment where limestone soils predominate compared to granite.
There are a total of 190 known fish species present in the Zambezi River, including eel and shark taxa. The largest native benthopelagic fish in the Zambezi are the 170 cm North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), the 146 cm common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio), the 150 cm Indo-Pacific tarpon (Megalops cyprinoides) and the introduced 120 cm rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
- C.Michael Hogan. 2012. ''Zambezi River. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC ed. Peter Saundry; ed.in-chief Cutler J.Cleveland
- Fishbase. 2010. Species in Zambezi
Habitat and Ecology
- Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Hemichromis fasciatus
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hemichromis fasciatus
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Hemichromis fasciatus, also called the banded jewelfish and five-spot cichlid, is a species of fish in the cichlid family. It is distributed throughout West Africa. It can also be found in the Nile Basin, Lake Chad, and the upper Zambezi. It can reach a length of 26.5 centimetres (10.4 in).
The banded jewelfish is yellow-green with a bronze iridescence and has five large, black, glossy oval patches on the side of the body. Older specimens have a brick-red dot on each scale. The mouth is large and wide. 
In the aquarium
The banded jewel fish is a very aggressive and territorial species. They do best in pairs and require a large aquarium (at least 55 gallons). The adult fish usually dig into the aquarium substrate and prefer to feed on live food, choosing large fragments of meat, water insects, and worms. Breeding is relatively easy, especially in brackish water. Up to 1000 eggs are lain on a stone. Both parents protect and accompany their offspring until the latter have reached a size of 2-3 cm (1 in).
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Hemichromis fasciatus" in FishBase. August 2013 version.
- Teugels, G.G. and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 2003. Cichlidae. p. 521-600. In D. Paugy, C. Lévêque and G.G Teugels (eds.) The fresh and brackish water fishes of West Africa Volume 2. Coll. faune et flore tropicales 40. Institut de recherche de développement, Paris, France, Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royal de l'Afrique Central, Tervuren, Belgium, 815p.