Greg Steeves,
Cichlid Room Companion
Furu Fanatics

Allochromis (Greenwood 1966), a Genus review

By , 2006. image
Last updated on 17-Feb-2006

Allochromis (Greenwood, 1966)

welcommei (Greenwood, 1966) Near Damba Island, Lake Victoria

Accessed by Les Kaufman in 1996 as critically endangered, present status is unknown. Name derived from the Greek "allos" meaning strange and "chromis" referring to color. Species named for Mr. Robin Welcomme, the collector. Allochromis welcommei attains a size of 10.5cm. It has an elongated, slightly sloped cranial profile with enlarged lips. Superficially Allochromis welcommei has a similar look to that of many Prognathochromis species. Allochromis welcommei differs from Prognathochromis species in having rows of fine specialized teeth. The front row of teeth on both the upper and lower jaws are closely compacted with narrow long columns and toped with a bicuspid crown (mostly) twice as broad as the base. The inner rows are tricuspid. All the teeth turn inward at a 45° angle. Allochromis welcommei is a specialized scale eater feeding on the scales of other cichlids. This species is the only known lepidophage from Lake Victoria.

The body on Allochromis welcommei is elongated and thin. Body coloration is light brown fading to light grey at the caudal area. A red flush adorns the cranial region. The caudal fin is red. Dorsal fin contains 24-25 spines of which 15 or 16 are hard rays. Bright red streaks line across the dorsal fin. The Anal fin is colorless with bright yellow ocelli.

Smaller species were taken near shore at Jinja Uganda. Larger Allochromis welcommei were caught in 18m over a rocky substrate near Lumya Point.

An Allochromis species was recently (1996) discovered in Lake Nawampassa. Due to the sensitivity of this biotype, they too are threatened with extinction. It is unclear if this new Allochromis sp. "Nawampassa" is Allochromis welcommei or a closely related species.


Steeves, Greg. (Feb 17, 2006). "Allochromis (Greenwood 1966), a Genus review". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Apr 17, 2024, from: