Tribe Ectodini

imageWelcome to the section on the wonderful Lake Tanganyika cichlids from the tribe Ectodini. The tribe is rated as the most morphologically and behaviorally diverse tribe in the Lake, and encompass both sand-, rock- and mud-dwelling cichlids, that are either biparental or maternal mouth-brooders. The section contains both information on the systematics of the tribe, as well as the aquarium keeping of the involved species.

By Thomas Andersen
Tribe Ectodini

Introduction to Sand-dweller Talks

Overview of genera and species

Synopsis of Aulonocranus Regan, 1920
Synopsis of Callochromis Regan, 1920
Synopsis of Cardiopharynx Poll, 1942
Synopsis of Cunningtonia Boulenger, 1906
Synopsis of Cyathopharynx Regan, 1920
Synopsis of Ectodus Boulenger, 1898
Synopsis of Grammatotria Boulenger, 1899
Synopsis of Lestradea Poll, 1943
Synopsis of Ophthalmotilapia Pellegrin, 1904
Synopsis of Xenotilapia Boulenger, 1899

Potentially undescribed species

Ectodus sp. "north"
Xenotilapia sp. "katete"
Xenotilapia sp. "kilesa"
Xenotilapia sp. "papilio sunflower"

Previously considered undescribed species

Xenotilapia sp. "blue dorsal" (Xenotilapia caudafasciata)
Xenotilapia sp. "fluorescent green" (Xenotilapia nasus)
Xenotilapia sp. "lepeli" (Xenotilapia flavipinnis)
Xenotilapia sp. "ochrogenys ndole" (Xenotilapia singularis)
Xenotilapia sp. "red princess" (Xenotilapia nigrolabiata)
Xenotilapia sp. 'forked tail' (Xenotilapia bathyphila)

Behavioral observations

Documentation of shared spawning arenas between Enantiopus melanogenys and Xenotilapia ochrogenys

Taxonomy & phylogenetic relationships

Ectodus - species reversed
Xenotilapia nigrolabiata vs. Xenotilapia sp. "Red Princess"

Further investigations

Discovery of Xenotilapia sp. ’papilio sunflower’ at the area of Cape Chaitika, Zambia
Geographical variation in nest-building and coloration of Xenotilapia melanogenys?


A sparkling jewel: Xenotilapia melanogenys (Boulenger, 1898)
A Xenotilapia of a different shape: Xenotilapia leptura (Boulenger, 1901)
Beautiful as a butterfly: Xenotilapia papilio Büscher, 1990
Keeping and breeding Ectodus descampsii Boulenger, 1898
Spawning Xenotilapia spiloptera Poll & Stewart, 1975. Ad Konings
Venting sand-dwellers
Callochromis pleurospilus (Boulenger 1906): A beautiful beast
Cyathopharynx furcifer Burundi. Paolo Salvagiani
Enantiopus melanogenys, the Tanganyika dream cichlid. Ad Konings
Grammatotria lemairii Boulenger, 1899: The biggest sand-dweller of them all
Xenotilapia ornatipinnis Boulenger, 1901: The Pearl from the Deep

Updated species profiles in the Cichlid Room Companion catalogue

Asprotilapia leptura (Boulenger, 1901)
Aulonocranus dewindti Boulenger, 1899
Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898)
Callochromis melanostigma (Boulenger, 1906)
Callochromis pleurospilus (Boulenger, 1906)
Cardiopharynx schoutedeni Poll, 1942
Cunningtonia longiventralis Boulenger, 1906
Cyathopharynx foae Vaillant, 1899
Cyathopharynx furcifer (Boulenger, 1898)
Ectodus descampsii Boulenger, 1898
Ectodus sp. 'north'
Enantiopus melanogenys Boulenger, 1898
Enantiopus sp. 'kilesa'
Grammatotria lemairii Boulenger, 1899
Ophthalmotilapia boops Boulenger, 1901
Ophthalmotilapia nasuta Poll & Matthes, 1962
Xenotilapia boulengeri Poll, 1942
Xenotilapia burtoni Poll, 1951
Xenotilapia caudafasciata Poll, 1951
Xenotilapia flavipinnis Poll, 1985
Xenotilapia longispinis Poll, 1951
Xenotilapia nasus De Vos, Risch & Thys van den Audenaerde, 1996
Xenotilapia nigrolabiata Poll, 1951
Xenotilapia ochrogenys Boulenger, 1914
Xenotilapia ornatipinnis Boulenger, 1901
Xenotilapia papilio Büscher, 1990
Xenotilapia sima Boulenger, 1899
Xenotilapia singularis (Boulenger, 1914)
Xenotilapia spilopterus Poll & Stewart, 1975
Xenotilapia sp. 'papilio katete'
Xenotilapia sp. 'papilio sunflower'


Lake Tanganyika Sand-dweller and Featherfin Forum