Lake Malawi was formed 1-2 million years ago. This geologically young, rocky lake
of the East African Rift is about 375 miles (604 km) long and 53 miles (85 km) wide, making it the ninth largest
lake in the world. The lake is bordered by Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. This lake is dominated by cichlids,
most of which are endemic to the lake.
Over 280 cichlid species have been described, although estimates of
up to 500 cichlid species have been made.
The largest group of Cichlids found in this lake is the Haplochromines
with over 120 species and 48 genera.
Among the Haplochromines, are the Peacock Cichlids of the genusAulonocara;the
Mbuna, a large group, including the genera,Cynotilapia, Labeotropheus, Labidochromis,Melanochromis, andPseudotropheus; and the larger piscivores of the generaCyrtocara, Nimbochromis,and Sciaenochromis.
Lake Malawi Biotope Setup