Blue notho (Nothobranchius patrizii)

Nothobranchius patrizii
Loading more images and videos...

Blue notho fact file

Blue notho description

GenusNothobranchius (1)

Although this fish is small and hard to come by, the blue notho (Nothobranchius patrizii) is very popular among aquarists due to its interesting colouration (3). It belongs to a group of small egg-laying fish known as the ‘killifishes’ (4).

As its name suggests, the blue notho is bright blue, and each scale has a darker blue edge (5).

The male blue notho can be distinguished by its vibrant red tail. The female blue notho is not as brightly coloured as the male and is hard to distinguish from females of other Nothobranchius species (5).

Head-body length: up to 5 cm (2)

Blue notho biology

The blue notho has a remarkable life history as it lives and breeds in small temporary ponds, which are only present during the wet season (3). Consequently, the blue notho must complete its lifecycle within this brief period (4).

Like other killifish, it is likely that the male blue notho is very territorial, and defends an area against intrusion from all other males (4). As the blue notho must reproduce before its temporary water habitat dries out (3), it is likely to mate with any females that enter its territory (4).

The blue notho lays its eggs in the muddy substrate (6). Due to the blue notho living in often difficult and dry conditions, the eggs it produces are desiccation-resistant, meaning they can endure extreme periods of drought. This adaptation allows the eggs to survive the dry season, when the temporary pools of water dry out (3). The eggs can last for a few years without drying out and as soon as the next rainfall comes, the eggs will hatch (6).

Like closely related species, the blue notho usually feeds on insects, aquatic insect larvae, and crustaceans (4).


Blue notho range

The blue notho occurs in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. It is found in seasonal pools in the Lower Tana River basin in Kenya, and in the Wabishebelle River basin in Somalia and Ethiopia (1).


Blue notho habitat

The blue notho occurs in temporary pools, swamps and ditches in coastal plains (2). These temporary waters are created by the seasonal rainfalls and can sometimes be just centimetres deep and dry up extremely quickly (6). However, during heavy wet seasons these pools may be temporarily connected to rivers and streams (3).


Blue notho status

The blue notho is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Blue notho threats

The blue notho is not currently known to be facing any major threats (1).


Blue notho conservation

There are currently no specific conservation efforts known to be in place for the blue notho (1).


Find out more

Find out about killifish conservation: 



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.


Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard external skeleton, characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, woodlice and barnacles.
Of the stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a colony that occupies and defends an area.
An area occupied and defended by an animal, a pair of animals or a group.


  1. IUCN Red List (July, 2011)
  2. FishBase – Blue notho (Novermber, 2010)
  3. Genade, T., Benedetti, M., Terzibasi, E., Roncaglia, P., Riccardo Valenzano, D., Cattaneo, A. and Cellerino, A.(2005) Annual fishes of the genus nothobranchius as a model system foraging research. Aging Cell 4: 223-233.
  4. The British Killifish Association (November, 2010)
  5. Blewett, E. (2005) Nothobranchius patrizii. Oklahoma Aquarium Association, Oklaoma. Available at:
  6. African Annual Killifish (November, 2010)

Image credit

Nothobranchius patrizii  
Nothobranchius patrizii

© RNDr. Roman Slaboch

RNDr. Roman Slaboch
Czech Republic
President of AKV1899
Tel: 603 517 256


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Blue notho (Nothobranchius patrizii) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top