Original description as Pelmatochromis obesus:
- Boulenger, George Albert. 1906. "Descriptions of new fishes discovered by Mr E. Degen in Lake Victoria". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. (ser. 7) 17; pp. 433-452 (crc00190)
- Paratilapia gestri Boulenger, 1911, with type locality at Jinja, Ripon Falls, Uganda. Determiner: Greenwood, 1959
Conservation: Haplochromis obesus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (CR) critically endangered (2010).