The Livingstoni Nimbochromis livingstonii (previously Haplochromis livingstonii) is a large handsome cichlid. This fish can reach close to 10 inches (25 cm) in length. Its color pattern is highly contrasting, with prominent dark blotches on a yellow, silver, or bluish background. There is also a "star" pattern to the eye, created by 4 lines dark lines radiating outward. This provides an excellent camouflage for it in its natural habitat, where it swims among plants and preys on smaller fishes. Other names it is known by include Livingston's Cichlid, Livingston's Hap, and Livingstonii.
The impressive size along with its interesting behavior and handsome color pattern make this a very interesting aquarium inhabitant. The German name for the Livingstoni Cichlid is the 'Sleeper'. This term originated from its unusual predatory behavior of 'playing dead'. This cichlid will stay on the bottom of the aquarium, lying flat on its side for long periods of time. When smaller fish approach as if to nibble at the dead carcass, they are captured with a lightning quick lunge. It will instantly grab it using a sideways motion of its head and mouth.
This ambushing tactic is a very clever trait found in all the cichlids in the Nimbochromis genus. These cichlids are different from the Mbuna cichlids, (Mbuna meaning "rock-dwelling") in the way that they prefer open swimming areas where the rocks meet the sand. The members of this genus are all very smart, stealthy predatory fish, but each has its own distinctive technique.