Juan Miguel Artigas Azas,
Cichlid Room Companion

Finally released: Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat (3rd edition)

By , 2015. image
Last updated on 19-Mar-2015

Classification: Species overview, Lake Tanganyika.

" The third edition of the most complete treatment of Lake Tanganyika cichlids in now available. This new work updates the current number of cichlid species in the lake to 219 and brings many proposed changes to the taxonomy of Tanganyikan cichlids, with the end to agree with the new knowledge published in numerous scientific works since the last version of this book in 1998 "

Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat  (3er edition) Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat (3er edition).

Ad Konings did it again!! A humongous amount of work, knowledge, investment and talent placed into his new book, the third edition of Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat.

This new book brings a very necessary update to the knowledge of Lake Tanganyika cichlids, for which hundreds of research papers and thousands of hours of exploration have been added to the information about these very interesting cichlids since the second edition of the book was published back in 1998. This new book organizes all this knowledge and presents it together with 1,200 pictures taken in the natural habitat. One thousand scientific papers were read by the author to obtain the most current and trustable knowledge about the subjects, as well as many trips even to places where it is now totally unadvisable to travel due to the very high risk involved. In total more than 750 hours of diving were done to build the knowledge necessary for this update. Ten months were used just to write the text that comprises the book.

This book brings changes in the taxonomy for the lake cichlids to bring it up to date, setting the number of recognized species to 219. These changes are the results of insightful analyses and consultations with top Lake Tanganyika experts, including considerations of the most recent DNA analyses published.

Although this book is filled with wonderful photographs of each species in the lake, many of those unique showing rare species like never seen before, this is mainly a book to read. Hardcover as it is, the paper is non-glossy, a necessity that arose from the contracted market for books and steep price of printing on glossy paper, which have to be ordered in thousand-fold quantities. The new technologies that allow print on demand made this book possible, and thankfully so!

Welcome to another landmark of cichlid knowledge!

Taxonomic changes since 1998:

Benthochromis: one new species described, B. horii Takahasi, 2008; the fish referred to as B. tricoti in earlier publications is now B. horii.

Callochromis: the fish previously referred to as C. stappersi is now an undescribed species, C. sp. 'pleurospilus tanzania'.

Cardiopharynx: an additional species, C. sp. 'kabimba', is identified.

Chalinochromis: one new species described, C. cyanophleps Kullander et al., 2014, previously regarded as a form of C. popelini; the undescribed 'ndobhoi' form is now regarded as a variant of C. brichardi; C. sp. 'bifrenatus' is now recognized as distinct from C. popelini.

Cyphotilapia: one new species described, C. gibberosa Takahashi & Nakaya, 2003, but synonymized with C. frontosa.

Cyprichromis: two new species described: C. zonatus Takahashi, 2002 (previously C. sp. 'zebra') and C. coloratus Takahashi & Hori, 2006; three additional species identified: C. sp. 'leptosoma kitumba', C. sp. 'leptosoma kigoma', and C. sp. 'kibishi'.

Ectodus: the 1998 E. sp. 'descampsi ndole' is corrected to E. descampsi, and the 1998 E. descampsi is now E. sp. 'north'.

Eretmodus: E. sp. 'cyanostictus north' has been described as E. marksmithi Burgess, 2012.

Greenwoodochromis: following Andersen (2014), the species abeelei and staneri (formerly in Limnochromis) are now placed in Greenwoodochromis.

Haplotaxodon: the newly described species H. trifasciatus Takahashi & Nakaya, 1999, is not accepted here but synonymized with H. microlepis.

Hemibates: a second species, H. sp. 'stenosoma zambia', is tentatively identified.

Interochromis: new genus described by Yamaoka et al. (1998) to accommodate what was previously Simochromis loocki.

'Lamprologus': Lepidiolamprologus lemairii is returned to this genus; 'L.' wauthioni is now placed in Neolamprologus and the undescribed form 'L.' sp. 'shell zambia' is now tentatively identified as Neolamprologus wauthioni.

Lepidiolamprologus: the fish previously referred to as L. hecqui is now L. meeli; a new species, L. kamambae Kullander et al., 2012, has been described but is regarded as a subspecies of L. kendalli; L. sp. 'profundicola tanzania' has been described as L. mimicus Schelly et al., 2007; L. lemairii has been returned to 'Lamprologus'.

Limnochromis: the species abeelei and staneri are now placed in Greenwoodochromis.

Neolamprologus: four new species described: N. cancellatus Aibara et al., 2005, N. chitamwebwai Verburg & Bills, 2007, N. walteri Verburg & Bills, 2007, and N. timidus Kullander et al., 2014. N. brichardi and N. crassus have been synonymized with N. pulcher; N. chitamwebwai Verburg & Bills 2007 is synonymized with N. falcicula; the fish previously regarded a variant of N. falcicula is distinguished as N. sp. 'falcicula cygnus'; the form known as N. sp. 'eseki' (Konings 2005) is referred to N. mondabu; the discovery of N. signatus along the central Tanzanian shore has led to recognition of N. laparogramma as a distinct species; N. longior, previously synonymized with N. leleupi, is restored to its original status as a subspecies of that species; N. cf. leleupi (1998) is now termed N. sp. 'leleupi kapampa'; N. petricola is synonymized with N. modestus; 'Lamprologus' wauthioni, which appears closely related to N. ventralis, is now placed in Neolamprologus; the new species N. cancellatus is not accepted as it is probably a natural hybrid between Telmatochromis vittatus and another species.

Ophthalmotilapia: the fish previously identified as O. heterodonta appears to be an undescribed species, O. sp. 'paranasuta'.

Perissodus: the genus Plecodus is synonymized with Perissodus; a deep-bodied Perissodus previously identified as P. eccentricus is now regarded as a form of P. microlepis.

Petrochromis: one new species described, P. horii Takahashi & Koblmüller, 2014, which includes the form previously known as P. sp. 'gold'; P. sp. 'moshi yellow' is now included in P. ephippium; P. sp. 'giant', P. sp. 'kasumbe', P. sp. 'texas', P. sp. 'texas blue', P. sp. 'texas kipili', and P. sp. 'texas red' are now regarded as geographical variants of P. polyodon; P. sp. 'orthognathus tricolor' is now regarded as conspecific with Interochromis loocki.

Pseudosimochromis: following Van Steenberge et al. (2015), three species formerly assigned to Simochromis, babaulti, marginatus, and margaretae, are now included in Pseudosimochromis.

Simochromis: the genus is now monotypic (with S. diagramma), following the transfer to Pseudosimochromis of the three species babaulti, marginatus, and margaretae.

Telmatochromis: one new species described, T. brachygnathus Hanssens & Snoeks, 2003, but synonymized with T. temporalis; T. sp. 'temporalis tanzania' is now included in T. temporalis; T. macrolepis is reinstated; three new species discovered: T. sp. 'schachbrett' (Büscher 1998b), T. sp. 'dhonti yellow', and T. sp. 'vittatus elongate'.

Trematochromis: T. schreyeni was synonymized with 'Ctenochromis' benthicola (Takahashi et al. 2006) but the genus Trematochromis is retained here and the species referred to as Trematochromis benthicola.

Tropheus: two new species, T. sp. 'lunatus' and T. sp. 'maculatus', have been identified (Van Steenberge 2014); T. sp. 'ikola' is included in T. sp. 'black'.

Xenotilapia: the previous synonymization of X. boulengeri with X. sima is corrected; X. sp. 'fluorescent green' is included in X. nasus; X. sp. 'ochrogenys ndole' is conspecific with X. singularis; X. sp. 'papilio katete' is regarded as a geographical variant of X. papilio.

Details of the book and an order form are found in this site.

References (1):


Artigas Azas, Juan Miguel. (Mar 19, 2015). "Finally released: Tanganyika Cichlids in their Natural Habitat (3rd edition)". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Dec 08, 2023, from: