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Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Nyassa, Lake Niassa, and Lago Niassa in Mozambique), is the most southerly lake in the Great African Rift Valley system. The lake, third largest in Africa and the ninth largest in the world, is situated between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The lake's tropical waters teem with more fish species than any other lake on Earth. Famously visited by the Scottish explorer and missionary David Livingstone, Lake Malawi has sometimes historically been referred to by English-speaking people as "Livingstone's Lake."
Lake Malawi is famous for its cichlids, popular in the aquarium trade. Malawi cichlids are divided into two basic groups, loosely referred to as the haplochromines and the tilapiines. Within the first group (Haplochrominae) there are two subgroups. The first consists of the open water and sand dwelling species whose males sport bright colors while the females show a silvery coloration with sometimes irregular black bars or other markings. The second subgroup is known locally and popularly as mbuna, which means "rockdweller." Mbuna are smaller, and both sexes often showing bright coloration, though in many species the females may be brownish overall.
The second group, the tilapiines, consists of the only substrate-spawning species in the lake (Tilapia rendalli), as well as the 4 species of chamb (Nyasalapia). Lake Malawi's cichlids are popular in the international aquarium hobby.