Nothobranchius - African Annual Fish

The annual fish of East Africa are amongst the most spectacular of all freshwater fish. Their colouration is intense, usually reds, yellows, oranges, and blues. As annual fish they only live for one season in the wild; likewise in the aquarium they rarely outlive one year.

List of known species

Callopanchax huwaldi
Callopanchax monroviae
Callopanchax occidentalis
Callopanchax toddi
Fundulosoma thierryi
Nothobranchius albimarginatus
Nothobranchius annectens
Nothobranchius bojiensis
Nothobranchius brieni
Nothobranchius cardinalis
Nothobranchius eggersi
Nothobranchius elongatus
Nothobranchius fasciatus
Nothobranchius flammicomantis
Nothobranchius foerschi
Nothobranchius furzeri
Nothobranchius fuscotaeniatus
Nothobranchius geminus
Nothobranchius guentheri
Nothobranchius hassoni
Nothobranchius interruptus
Nothobranchius janpapi
Nothobranchius jubbi
Nothobranchius kafuensis
Nothobranchius kilomberoensis
Nothobranchius kirki
Nothobranchius korthausae
Nothobranchius kuhntae
Nothobranchius lourensi
Nothobranchius luekei
Nothobranchius malaissei
Nothobranchius melanospilus
Nothobranchius microlepis
Nothobranchius neumanni
Nothobranchius nubaensis
Nothobranchius ocellatus
Nothobranchius orthonotus
Nothobranchius palmqvisti
Nothobranchius patrizii
Nothobranchius pienaari
Nothobranchius polli
Nothobranchius rachovii
Nothobranchius robustus
Nothobranchius rosenstocki
Nothobranchius rubripinnis
Nothobranchius rubroreticulatus
Nothobranchius sp. aff melanospilis Kinungamkele TAN 05-48
Nothobranchius sp. Caprivi 95-1
Nothobranchius sp. Kisiko TAN RB 05-47
Nothobranchius sp. Melele River MOZ 04-11
Nothobranchius sp. Messalo river MZHL 05-12
Nothobranchius sp. Nyando River KE 01-3
Nothobranchius sp. Odienya K86/9
Nothobranchius sp. Runere
Nothobranchius sp. TAN 97/21
Nothobranchius sp. TAN 97/23
Nothobranchius steinforti
Nothobranchius symoensi
Nothobranchius taeniopygus
Nothobranchius ugandensis
Nothobranchius virgatus
Nothobranchius vosseleri
Nothobranchius willerti
Pronothobranchius kiyawensis

Thumbnail view

click images for more details and pictures of each species.

Callopanchax monroviaeCallopanchax occidentalisFundulosoma thierryiNothobranchius albimarginatus
Nothobranchius annectensNothobranchius cardinalisNothobranchius eggersiNothobranchius elongatus
Nothobranchius flammicomantisNothobranchius foerschiNothobranchius furzeriNothobranchius fuscotaeniatus
Nothobranchius geminusNothobranchius guentheriNothobranchius interruptusNothobranchius janpapi
Nothobranchius jubbiNothobranchius kafuensisNothobranchius kilomberoensisNothobranchius kirki
Nothobranchius korthausaeNothobranchius lourensiNothobranchius luekeiNothobranchius melanospilus
Nothobranchius orthonotusNothobranchius palmqvistiNothobranchius patriziiNothobranchius rachovii
Nothobranchius rubroreticulatusNothobranchius sp. Caprivi 95-1Nothobranchius sp. Kisiko TAN RB 05-47Nothobranchius sp. Melele River MOZ 04-11
Nothobranchius sp. Messalo river MZHL 05-12Nothobranchius sp. Odienya K86/9Nothobranchius sp. RunereNothobranchius sp. TAN 97/23
Nothobranchius steinfortiNothobranchius ugandensisNothobranchius virgatusNothobranchius vosseleri

The annual fish of Africa live in temporary waters, created by seasonal rainfall, in depressions in the lanscape. Sometimes these can be very small indeed barely inches of water - yet the fish survive. These waters can dry up very quickly, so it is essential that the fish can reach a reproductive age before this happens. Eggs are laid in the muddy substrate where they will survive once the water has dried up, until the next rains come. Some areas of Africa have irregular rainfall patterns and in certain conditions the eggs may survive for years, ensuring a hatch of fry whenever the rains come. The most widely kept annual killifish come from the genus Nothobranchius, which hail from east, southern and central Africa. Other genera include Fundulosoma, and Callopanchax from central to western Africa.

The primary difference between African and South American annual fish, other than the obvious geographic ranges is that South American species live in temporary pools created by the massive annual flooding of the regions rivers.


1999-2014 all rights reserved.

Terms and Conditions: The pictures and information on this website are free to use in all non-profit ventures, however you must provide a credit to the photographer, a link back to this site, and a free copy of any publication. All photographs and other content by Julian Haffegee unless otherwise specified. If you have enjoyed this site, please consider helping me fund it by using the Amazon links in the killifish book reviews