Thomas Andersen, 2005
Cichlid Room Companion
Tribe Ectodini

Synopsis of Callochromis Regan, 1920

By , 2005. image
Last updated on 30-Oct-2005

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, Lake Tanganyika.

Type species: Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898)

Callochromis macrops

Callochromis macrops male in the aquarium. Photo by Ad Konings. Determiner Ad Konings

Distinctive characters:

  • Body more or less elongated, 2.7-3.3 times as long as high. The dorsal profile is convex and the ventral profile horizontal.
  • Mouth small, final or sub terminal, hypogynous and almost horizontal.
  • 3-5 series of conical teeth.
  • Dorsal fin contains 12-16 hard-rays and 10-14 soft rays; anal fin contains 3 hard rays and 6-9 soft rays. The outer ray of the ventral fins are longest, the caudal with pointed lobes.
  • 32-37 scales along the longitudinal line.
  • Two lateral lines.
  • Lower pharyngeal bone triangular with small bicuspid teeth, except at the back and center where the teeth are molar shaped.
  • Total length 10-16 cm.

Species currently included:

Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898)

Type locality:

Kinyamkolo and Mbity Rocks, Zambia.

Taxonomic history:

  • Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898) - by Poll 1986
  • Callochromis macrops macrops (Boulenger, 1898) - by Greenwood 1983
  • Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898) – by Greenwood 1978
  • Callochromis macrops macrops (Boulenger, 1898) - by Poll 1956
  • Callochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898) - by Regan 1920
  • Pelmatochromis macrops (Boulenger, 1898) - by Pellegrin 1904
  • Paratilapia macrops Boulenger, 1898


  • Pelmatochromis xenotilapiaformis Borodin, 1931
  • Tylochromis macrophthalmus David, 1936

Link to Callochromis macrops in the CRC Catalogue.

Callochromis melanostigma (Boulenger, 1906)

Type locality:

Uvira, DR Congo (former Zaire)

Taxonomic history:

  • Callochromis melanostigma (Boulenger, 1906) - by Poll 1986
  • Callochromis macrops melanostigma (Boulenger, 1906) - by Poll 1956
  • Callochromis melanostigma (Boulenger, 1906) – by Regan 1920
  • Pelamatochromis melanostigma Boulenger, 1906


  • (?)Ectodus descampsii ornatipinnis Borodin, 1936 – Callochromis spp., possibly C. melanostigma.

Link to Callochromis melanostigma in the CRC Catalogue.

Callochromis pleurospilus (Boulenger, 1906)

Type locality:

Mpala, DR Congo (former Zaire).

Taxonomic history:

  • Callochromis pleurospilus (Boulenger, 1906) - by Regan 1920
  • Pelmatochromis pleurospilus Boulenger, 1906


  • Callochromis stappersii (Boulenger, 1914)
  • Pelmatochromis stappersii Boulenger, 1914
  • Callochromis rhodostigma (Boulenger, 1906)
  • Pelmatochromis rhodostigma Boulenger, 1906

Link to Callochromis pleurospilus in the CRC Catalogue.

Remarks on taxonomic status:

The genus Callochromis has long been regarded as a phylogenetic entity and molecular analyses has confirmed that Callochromis is a monophyletic clade within the Ectodini tribe (Sturmbauer & Meyer 1993; Koblmüller et al. 2004).

The number of valid species within the genus has varied through time though; C. melanostigma has on more than one occasion been regarded as a subspecies of C. macrops and C. stappersii has on and off been regarded as a junior synonym of C. pleurospilus, latest by Takahashi & Nakaya in 1998. Molecular analyses have shown that C. stappersii may in fact be a valid taxa (Koblmüller et al. 2004) – a topic that will be addressed in a separate paper.

References (5):


Andersen, Thomas. (Oct 30, 2005). "Synopsis of Callochromis Regan, 1920". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on Dec 01, 2023, from: