Micropanchax loati (Boulenger 1901)

Male left, female right. Line drawings by Bob Heap.

Meaning of Name

After Wilson L.S.Loat, collector of the type material.

First Description

Haplochilus loati Boulenger 1901

Ann & Mag Nat. Hist. (7) viii 1901, p 446

A plate appeared in Fish, Nile, p 417, pl lxxix, fig. 7 (1907).


3 cm (Killi - Data reports 4 cm with females growing larger).

  • D = 7-8, A = 14-15, ll = 24-28 (Boulenger 1901)
  • D = 7-8 (9), A = 11-13 (14), ll = 25-27 (Sterba Freshwater Fishes)
  • D = 7-8, A = 12-14, ll = 25-27 (Sandon 1950)





loati. Consisting of - antinorii, bracheti, fulleborni, pfaffi, rudolfianus.

  • Haplochilus loati Boulenger 1901
  • Aplocheilichthys loati (Boulenger 1901)
  • Aplocheilichthys schoelleri Boulenger 1904
  • Micropanchax schoelleri (Boulenger 1904)
  • Haplochilus schoelleri (Boulenger 1904)
  • Haplochilichthys loati Ahl 1924
  • Micropanchax loati Myers 1924
  • Haplochilichthys schoelleri Arnold & Ahl 1924
  • Micropanchax schoelleri Myers 1924
  • Aplocheilichthys schoelleri Arnold & Ahl 1936
  • Aplocheilichthys loati Arnold & Ahl 1936
  • Aplocheilichthys sp. Bailey 1966


  • Bar el Djebel
  • Massanza
  • Wembere
  • Zaria (Northern Nigeria)
Zaria - Imported by the BKA around September/October 1974 from the region of Zaria, Northern Nigeria. This form had green/yellow to light brown dorsal & anal fins. The dorsal also had a blue/white outer margin & each ray stood out in relief. The eye was 'neon' blue. On receipt the fish were hard to sex but after a few hours of settling in males showed a grey green overcast on the body. Males also developed longer pelvic fins & the dorsal fin was more pointed than the females. Sexual differences became more plain as the fish matured.
Type Locality

Lake No, White Nile River, Sudan.


Widespread, from Egypt to Northern Nigeria including Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda. Inhabits the Nile basin from Lake Victoria to the Delta in Egypt.


Still water. Swamps, irrigation ditches & lakes. Water is alkaline to neutral pH, water temperature ranges from 20 - 35°C. Reported to inhabit shallow water.

Sympatric sp. Ep.bifasciatus, Ep.spilargyreius.

Distinguishing Characteristics Distinguished from pfaffi by the pointed (not rounded) shape of the mouth.
Colour/Pattern Variability  

Discovered by Wilson Loat. Later collections by Thys in 1984 (Burundi), Wildekamp 1978 (Tanzania), Wildekamp 1990 (Uganda), Watters et al 1990 (Uganda), Watters et al 1993 (Tanzania).

Boulenger gives the following collectors / locations in his 1915 Catalogue.

  • 1-40. (Types) Collected at Lake No by L.Loat.
  • 41-44. Collected at Lake No by H.H.King
  • 45. Collected at Fashoda by L.Loat
  • 46. Collected at Gondokoro by L.Loat

First introduced as an aquarium fish in 1904 in Germany where they were then known as Aplocheilichthys schoelleri. No breeding records can be found from this period.

History of the synonym Haplochilus schoelleri Boulenger 1904

  • Described by Boulenger in Annals & Magazine, Natural History (7) xiv. 1904 p 136...
    Described by Werner in Sitzb. Ak. Wien, cxv. i. 1906 p 1142...

    Described again by Boulenger in 'Fishes of the Nile' p 445, pl. lxxix. fig 6. 1907.

Boulenger gives the following collectors / locations in his 1915 Catalogue.

  • 1-8. (Types) Collected near Lake Marcotis by C.H.Schoeller
    9-48, 49-58. Collected at Ghet-el-Nassara, Lake Menzaleh by L.Loat
    59. Collected at Birket Karun, Fayum by Dr.W.A.Cunningham & Dr.C.L.Boulenger


Breeding Notes

Best maintained in shoals in a well lit tank with plenty of floating plants. Water conditions seem of little importance but the temperature should be maintained at 75°F at least. Slight aeration seemed to benefit the BKA import but in nature the water in there biotope is still. Eggs will be layed in floating plants or mops. Egg size is quite large in comparison with the size of the fish. Water incubated eggs hatch in 18 days at 24·5°C.
Newly hatched fry are small on hatching & require infusoria for 2 weeks. Fry will be found in the parents tank which are not molested by the adult fish.

Killi-Data reports tanks should be long & exposed to direct sunlight. The breeding tank had neutral to acidic water. Water temperature below 23°C. Regular water changes were done.
Fish are prone to stress through fright & can easily become injured. Also this sp. is particularly susceptible to low levels of saturated oxygen.
Eggs are also delicate & should not be handled. Fry can be scooped out of the parents tank or take the entire mop out to an incubating tank. Egg incubation around 2 weeks. Higher temperatures speeds up incubation. Sexual maturity in about 7 months.

Wildekamp in 'A World of Killies' reports the sp. as being very sensitive to water pollution. Fry on hatching require Paramecium for 4-5 days. Growth rate is slow.

Another report states 'eggs incubated in water take about 16 days at 72°F'.

Diameter of Egg 1·5 mm (Trewavas)
Eggs reported as being tough & able to withstand adverse conditions.

Some reports (under the name schoelleri) have stated that when the fish reach 12 months of age they become emaciated & sickly looking. Females can outgrow males.