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Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor.jpg
Pseudocrenilabrus multicolor
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cichliformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Fowler, 1934 [1]

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The Pseudocrenilabrinae are a subfamily in the cichlid family of fishes to which, according to a study from 2004, includes all the Middle Eastern and African cichlids with the exception of the unusual Heterochromis multidens and the Malagasy species. [2] This subfamily includes more than 1,100 species. Previous authors recognized additional African subfamilies, e.g. the Tilapiinae of Hoedeman (1947), Tylochrominae of Poll (1986), or Boulengerochrominae of Tawil (2001).

To this subfamily belong the cichlids from the African Great Lakes, such as the utaka and mbuna in Lake Malawi, and various species from Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika.

The Pseudocrenilabrinae tribes Haplochromini and Oreochromini are widespread in Africa and also found in the Middle East, while Chromidotilapiini, Hemichromini and Tylochromini are primarily West and Central African. The remaining tribes are largely or entirely restricted to Lake Tanganyika. [3]


Apart from the tribes mentioned in the adjacent box, Bathybatini, Benthochromini, Boulengerochromini, Coelotilapiini, Coptodonini, Cyphotilapiini, Eretmodini, Etiini, Greenwoodochromini, Heterotilapiini, Limnochromini, Oreochromini, Pelmatolapiini, Perissodini, Steatocranini and Trematocarini are sometimes also recognized. [3] [4] The extinct genus Mahengechromis is apparently quite singular Pseudocrenilabrinae, distinct from any of the established tribes.


The subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae has been arranged as follows by some authorities [5]

Related Research Articles

Cichlid Family of fishes

Cichlids are fish from the family Cichlidae in the order Cichliformes. Cichlids were traditionally classed in a suborder, the Labroidei, along with the wrasses (Labridae), in the order Perciformes, but molecular studies have contradicted this grouping. The closest living relative of cichlids is probably the convict blenny, and both families are classified in the 5th edition of Fishes of the World as the two families in the Cichliformes, part of the subseries Ovalentaria. This family is both large and diverse. At least 1,650 species have been scientifically described, making it one of the largest vertebrate families. New species are discovered annually, and many species remain undescribed. The actual number of species is therefore unknown, with estimates varying between 2,000 and 3,000.

Lake Tanganyika Rift lake in east-central Africa

Lake Tanganyika is an African Great Lake. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The lake is shared between four countries—Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Zambia, with Tanzania (46%) and DRC (40%) possessing the majority of the lake. It drains into the Congo River system and ultimately into the Atlantic Ocean.

<i>Chalinochromis</i> Genus of fishes

Chalinochromis is a small cichlid genus from the subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae. These ray-finned fishes are endemic to Lake Tanganyika in the East African Rift. The scientific name refers to the bridle-like markings across the heads of members of this genus. They have specialized jaws enabling them to feed on sponges.

Greenwoodochromis is a small genus of cichlid fish that are endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. It is the only genus in the monotypic tribe Greenwoodochromini, however, some authorities have synonymised the Greenwoodochromini with the tribe Limnochromini.

<i>Paratilapia</i> Genus of fishes

Paratilapia is a genus of cichlids generally restricted to Madagascar. These are large, dark cichlids densely covered in light spots. An additional very poorly known species from the Congo River basin in mainland Africa is sometimes also placed in the genus, but this is highly questionable and arguably it is better placed in the "wastebasket genus" Haplochromis for the time being.

<i>Neolamprologus</i> Genus of fishes

Neolamprologus is a genus of cichlids endemic to eastern Africa with all but one species, Neolamprologus devosi from the Malagarasi River, occurring in Lake Tanganyika. It is the largest genus of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika and also the largest genus in the tribe Lamprologini, which includes Altolamprologus, Chalinochromis, Julidochromis, Lamprologus, Lepidiolamprologus, Telmatochromis and Variabilichromis. The latter is a monotypic genus doubtfully distinct from Neolamprologus.

<i>Lepidiolamprologus</i> Genus of fishes

Lepidiolamprologus is a small genus of cichlids endemic to Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa. It is closely related to Altolamprologus. and there is the possibility that a revision of the genus could see more species added.

<i>Telmatochromis</i> Genus of fishes

Telmatochromis is a small cichlid genus of the subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae. These ray-finned fishes are endemic to the Lake Tanganyika basin in Africa.

<i>Herichthys</i> Genus of fishes

Herichthys is a small genus of cichlid fishes. Most are endemic to Mexico, but H. cyanoguttatus is also found in southern Texas, and has been introduced to central Texas and Florida. In 2015, the genus was split, and 7 species moved into Nosferatu.

Haplochromine Tribe of fishes

The haplochromine cichlids are a tribe of cichlids in subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae called Haplochromini. This group includes the type genus (Haplochromis) plus a number of closely related genera such as Aulonocara, Astatotilapia, and Chilotilapia. They are endemic to eastern, southern and northern Africa, except for Astatotilapia flaviijosephi in the Middle East. A common name in a scientific context is East African cichlids – while they are not restricted to that region, they are the dominant Cichlidae there. This tribe was extensively studied by Ethelwynn Trewavas, who made major reviews in 1935 and 1989, at the beginning and at the end of her career in ichthyology. Even today, numerous new species are being described each year.

Tilapiine cichlid Tribe of fishes

The Tilapiini are a tribe within the family Cichlidae commonly known as tilapiine cichlids. Formerly this tribe contained many other genera and species, including the economically important Oreochromis and Sarotherodon, but a taxonomic review found that this grouping was paraphyletic and most were moved to Coelotilapini, Coptodonini, Heterotilapini, Oreochromini and Pelmatolapiini. Together, most species in these tribes are called "tilapias". In a more distant past, a number of other, more different genera like Steatocranus also were included in Tilapiini. With these as separate, Tilapiini now is a much more restricted tribe with only three genera and about half a dozen species from Central and Southern Africa.

<i>Haplochromis</i> Genus of fishes

Haplochromis is a ray-finned fish genus in the family Cichlidae. It has been used as the default "wastebin taxon" for Pseudocrenilabrinae cichlids of the East African Rift, and as such became the "largest" fish "genus". Many of these cichlids are popular aquarium fishes; like similar Haplochromini they are known as "haplos", "happies" or "haps" among aquarium enthusiasts.

<i>Heterochromis</i> Genus of fishes

Heterochromis is a genus of cichlid fish in the order Perciformes. It is the only genus of the subfamily Heterochromidinae, and contains a single species, Heterochromis multidens, which is endemic to the Congo River Basin in Central Africa. The relationships of Heterochromis to other cichlids have long been controversial, with several morphological features suggesting that it is more closely related to American cichlids than to other African species. Molecular studies have given contradictory results. The most comprehensive analysis done to date found more support for relationship to African cichlids, but could not conclusively reject a relationship to the American clade.

Giant cichlid Species of fish

The giant cichlid, also known as the emperor cichlid, is a species of fish in the family Cichlidae, endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. It is the only member of its genus Boulengerochromis and tribe Boulengerochromini.

Convict julie Species of fish

The convict julie is a cichlid species in the subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae family endemic to Lake Tanganyika. Hence it is found in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia. The fish is named after Charles Tate Regan.

<i>Paretroplus</i> Genus of fishes

Paretroplus is a genus of fishes in the cichlid family, all of which are endemic to lakes and rivers of Madagascar. The vast majority are threatened and restricted to the northwestern part of the island. Only P. polyactis is found in the southern half of Madagascar and only P. polyactis and P. gymnopreopercularis are found in eastern drainages. Most are restricted to freshwater, but at least P. polyactis and P. maromandia can also be seen in brackish habitats.

Ptychochrominae Subfamily of fishes

The Ptychochrominae are a subfamily in the cichlid family of fish. It includes about 14 species. They are restricted to lakes and rivers in Madagascar, and the majority are threatened. Most cichlid genera native to Madagascar are included in this subfamily; the only exceptions are Paretroplus and Paratilapia.

Bathybatini Tribe of fishes

Bathybatini is a tribe of cichlids endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa. They are mostly found in relatively deep waters and mainly feed on fish or plankton (Trematocara). They are mouthbrooders.

<i>Pelmatolapia</i> Genus of fishes

Pelmatolapia is a genus of cichlids native to tropical Africa. This genus and Pterochromis are the only in the tribe Pelmatolapiini, but formerly they were included in Tilapiini.

Oreochromini Tribe of fishes

Oreochromini is a tribe of cichlids in the Pseudocrenilabrinae subfamily that is native to Africa and Western Asia, but a few species have been widely introduced to other parts of the world. It was formerly considered to be part of the tribe Tilapini but more recent workers have found that the Tilapini sensu lato is paraphyletic. Despite this change, species in Oreochromini are still referred to by the common name tilapia and some of the most important tilapia in aquaculture —certain species of Oreochromis and Sarotherodon— are part of this tribe. In contrast, several species have small ranges and are seriously threatened; a few are already extinct or possibly extinct.


  1. Fowler, Henry W. (1934). "Fishes Obtained by Mr. H. W. Bell-Marley Chiefly in Natal and Zululand in 1929 to 1932". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 86: 462. JSTOR   4064159.
  2. Sparks & Smith (2004). Phylogeny and biogeography of cichlid fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes: Cichlidae). Cladistics 20(6): 501–517
  3. 1 2 Meyer, Matchiner, Salburger, Britta, Michael, Walter (2015). "A tribal level phylogeny of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes based on a genomic multi-marker approach". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 83: 56–71. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.10.009. PMC   4334724 . PMID   25433288.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. Dunz; and Schliewen (2013). Molecular phylogeny and revised classification of the haplotilapiine cichlid fishes formerly referred to as Tilapia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 64-80. doi : 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.03.015
  5. "Pseudocrenilabrinae". NCBI. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  6. Lamboj, A., Trummer, F,. & Metscher, B.D. (2016): Wallaceochromis gen. nov, a new chromidotilapiine cichlid genus (Pisces: Perciformes) from West Africa. Zootaxa, 4144 (1): 124-130.

Further reading