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Furu Fanatics

Harpagochromis (Pfeffer, 1896), a Genus Review

By , 2006.
Last updated on 29-Jan-2006

Greg Steeves, 2004

Harpagochromis (Pfeffer, 1896)

The genus Harpagochromiswas erected in 1896 by G. J. Pfeffer. The Harpagochromisname is rooted in Greek. "Harpage" means robber while "chromis" denotes color. The basic cues which differentiate Harpagochromisfrom other cichlids of haplochromine lineage include body shape, dentition, and feeding strategies.

The Harpagochromiscontains a number of species and all are piscivores. Many Harpagochromisspecies are now listed as extinct in their native waters while captive Harpagochromisstocks are not at all abundant. Members of the Harpagochromis group can be found in Lake Victoria, Lake Edward, Lake George, The Victorian Nile, Lake Kyoga and Lake Nawampassa.

Harpagochromis are deep bodied cichlids. They can attain a length in excess of 20cm which is substantially larger than most other haplochromines from the Victorian basin. A deceptively large mouth is angled upward. The lower jaw extends past the upper. The outer teeth are bicuspid and sometimes unicuspid in larger members of the genus. Between one and five inner rows of unicuspid and/or tricuspid teeth line both jaws (Greenwood, 1962).

Harpagochromisis closely related to the Prognathochromis lineage. The majority of described species from both genuses are endangered or feared extinct exist (Loiselle, 2004). Species in these assemblages were a primary target for Lates niloticus (Fermon, 2005) and although it is hopeful that pockets of breeding populations may still exist. The present and future of many species in the Harpagochromisgenus is bleak at best.


altigenis (Regan, 1922) Bunjako, Uganda

Harpagochromis altigeniswas last seen at Anchor Island, Mwanza Gulf in 1989. Traditionally found in open water, this piscavore reaches over 20cm in length and feeds mainly on haplochromine type cichlids.

The cranial profile of Harpagochromis altigenisis elongated and curved. Thick lips edge a large extending mouth. The lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper (especially in larger specimens). Outer row teeth are unicuspid while the inner 2-4 rows are weakly tricuspid or unicuspid (Greenwood, 1967).

Body coloration is light silver becoming darker towards the dorsal. There are seven vertical bars and a faint mid lateral stripe. It is very likely that with dominance, male body coloration will turn much darker as with Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck". The dorsal fin is light brown-green with black edging. This same coloration is found in the anal fin with 3-5 white egg spots in 2-3 rows. The pelvic fins are tan brown as is the caudal fin at the base extending to clear.

artaxerxes (Greenwood, 1962) Near Jinja Uganda, Lake Victoria extinct

The species description of Harpagochromis artaxerxesis based on a single specimen taken from Napoleon Gulf Uganda. The name is derived from Artaxerxes, King of Persia.

The distinctive characteristic of this species was the extremely long pectoral fins. The third and forth rays of the pelvic fins extend well beyond the others giving this species not only the longest pectorals of all Victorian species, but also a distinctive shape (Greenwood, 1967).

boops (Greenwood, 1967) Buvuma Island, Uganda. Lake Victoria. extinct

Species description is based on three specimens taken in deep (36m) water. Coloration or specifics on habitat are unknown. Gut examinations show a piscavorous diet consisting of haplochromine type cichlids (Greenwood, 1969). Harpagochromis boopshas not been seen since 1966.

cavifrons (Hilgendorf 1888) Lake Victoria. Critically endangered

Harpagochromis cavifrons, before the Lates niloticusupsurge, had a wide distribution in Lake Victoria. It was thought to have been a victim of the Nile perch until, in 1995, a specimen was caught at the Vesi Archipelago (Seehausen, 1996).

At a length of near 20cm, Harpagochromis cavifronsis a formidable predator. This species incorporated more insect matter into its diet than most other members of the genus. It has a distinctive brown blotched pattern over a dull olive green body. Yellow ocelli spot a pink red anal fin. The dorsal and caudal fin is clear with tanned colored spotting throughout. The pectoral fins are yellow with brown streaks on the two first spines. Two faint horizontal bars cross the flanks.

Stout unicuspid teeth line the outer row of the jaws while mostly unicuspid teeth (some tricuspid in smaller individuals) line 1-4 inner rows. It has mostly been found off shore over a hard bottom (Greenwood, 1966).

diplotaenia (Regan & Trewavas, 1928) Lake Victoria extinct

This small piscavore (11cm) is described from incomplete specimens. Available cranial samplings conform to a Harpagochromis lineage however without more complete analysis; species description is tentative and may never be confirmed.

guiarti (Pellegrin, 1904) Mwanza Gulf, Lake Victoria.

Before 1980 Harpagochromis guiartiwas abundant in Lake Victoria. It had a wide distribution throughout the lake over a variety of substrates. The diet consisted of young cichlids as well as insect larvae. Harpagochromis guiartiis a small representative of the genus and was an intermediate species bridging the span between piscavores and some of the Astatotilapia insectivores.

Dominant males display a green tinted dark merging to a silver under belly. As many as ten vertical bars cross the body dissecting a thin mid lateral black band. The pectoral fins are black. The caudal fin is clear with a dark tinge and a black trim. The dorsal and anal fins are translucent. The dorsal is lined with a black band. Two or three yellow egg spots dot the anal fin as well (Greenwood, 1980).

howesi (Van Oijen, 1992) Mwanza Gulf, Lake Victoria. Critically endangered.

Harpagochromis howesiis a complex of cichlids described by M.J.P.Van Oijen (Leiden) as Haplochromis howesi. This species is also commonly referenced as Prognathochromis. Seehausen tentatively classifies howesi as Harpagochromisto which this species accurately conforms.

Argument could be made for the Harpagochromisclassification as howesi is not so much a piscavore as a specialized crab eater. It hunts in the crevices between rocky shelves and was last seen at Anchor Island in 1989. In 1996 Yves Fermon and Ole Seehausen found Harpagochromis howesi-like species at Gana Island in Speke Gulf. Juveniles remain nearer to shore than adults whose preferred habitat is deeper waters (Seehausen, 1996).

The lower jaw of Harpagochromis howesiextends well beyond the upper jaw. Dominant male body coloration is black with seven subdued vertical bars. The dorsal fin is translucent and tinged in light blue. The anal fin is red protruding from the base fading to clear with 2-3 ocelli. The pelvic fins are black as is the base of the caudal fin. The caudal fin is clear towards the outside edge. Small embedded scales can be found between the rays of the dorsal and anal fins. Females are olive green or grey with dark gray or greenish yellow fins. Adult size can reach 30cm with females slightly smaller than males.

At a time before Lates Niloticusdecimated many of the Lake Victorian piscavores, Harpagochromis howesimay have contained numerous variants with a wide range especially in the Mwanza Gulf area. Although never found in great abundance, the present population density of Harpagochromis howesi is unknown. Hope is that this unique species still exists in isolated pockets yet to be discovered.

maculipinna (Pellegrin,1913) Lake Victoria extinct

Harpagochromis maculipinnais distinctive from other members of the genus in that it has a large eye size. It grows to 16.5cm and feeds on fish and insects. Adult specimens have a unicuspid outer row of teeth. The inner teeth are lined in rows numbering 1-4 and are a mixture of unicuspid and tricuspid (Greenwood, 1967). Live coloration is unknown as Harpagochromis maculipinna is considered extinct.

mentatus (Regan, 1921) Lake Edward

Trewavas considered Harpagochromismentatusto be very closely related to the Lake George species Harpagochromissquamipinnis. Greenwood examined the Harpagochromis mentatusholotype at Harvard University and considered the lone Harpagochromis mentatusspecimen to be a juvenile form of Harpagochromis squamipinnis. It is found in shallow water over a mud bottom and grows to 15cm (Greenwood, 1973).

michaeli (Trewavas, 1928) Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria extinct

Harpagochromis michaeligrows to 14.5cm (based on largest preserved specimen). The upper jaw contains 3-5 rows of teeth with the outer row slightly curved and unicuspid. The inner rows are unicuspid or weakly tricuspid. The lower jaw contains the same dentition pattern as the upper but lined with 1-4 rows.

Harpagochromis michaeliis found near shore frequenting bays or inlets over a mud bottom in relatively shallow (3-35m) water. Gut samplings confirmed a diet of fish along with incidental plant material which was not digested (Greenwood, 1973).

nyanzae (Greenwood, 1962) Jinja Uganda, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis nyanzaeconforms closely to other haplochromine lineages in body shape. The "arrow" shaping that is found in the majority of members of this genus is not conformed to this species. The cranial shape is slightly rounded with a higher slope than other Harpagochromisspecies. It is a large predator growing to 17cm. Outer tooth rows are unicuspid while the inner are unicuspid and weakly tricuspid in 2-4 rows.

Harpagochromis nyanzaeis found within the confines of Napoleon Gulf over a hard bottom in shallow water (>6m). This species feeds on other haplochromines as well as insect matter (Greenwood, 1966). Harpagochromis nyanzae is closely related to Harpagochromis victorianusand to the Harpagochromis serranuscomplex.

pachycephalus(Greenwood, 1967) Kazima Island Uganda, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis pachycephalus is a large hunter reaching a length of 23.2cm. There are 2-5 rows of unicuspid teeth in the upper jaw and 2-4 in the lower. Harpagochromis pachycephalusis found over soft bottoms in deep water (30-35m) off shore of the mainland but close to islands. Stomach contents consisted of cichlids and, in one case, remains of a cyprinid (Greenwood, 1967).

paraplagiostoma (Greenwood and Gee, 1969) Bulago Island, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis paraplagiostomais among the smallest representatives of the genus at 9.8cm. Outer rows in both jaws contain bicuspid with a few interspaced unicuspid teeth. Inner teeth are tricuspid lined in 1-2 rows.

Harpagochromis paraplagiostomasamplings were all (8 specimens) taken in 24m of water over a mud bottom. There are subtle differences between Harpagochromis paraplagiostomaand Harpagochromis plagiostoma including dentition, coloration and possibly size (Greenwood & Barel, 1978).

pectoralis (Boulenger, 1911) Jinja Uganda, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis pectoralisis an earlier description of Harpagochromis squamulatus(as Paratilapia pectoralis. This species is often, but should not be confused with Ctenochromis pectoralis(Pfeffer, 1893), a riverine haplochromine.

plagiostoma (Regan, 1922) Bunjako, Uganda, Lake Victoria. Critically endangered

Harpagochromis plagiostoma has a unique caudal fin shape shared with only Prognathochromis flavipinnis. The caudal fin spines in the upper portion of the caudal fin are longer than those on the bottom giving the fin a noticeable diagonal slope. In sexually dominant males the caudal fin is dark grey black with a red margin. The anal fin is crimson red with bright yellow eggs spots in a single row. Pelvic fins are black. The dorsal fin is dark grey with red spotting towards the back portion as well as at the base. Body coloration is grey with bright speckling on the gill plate. Females sport a silver coloration with two laterally running bars. One bar splits the body while the other is shorter and not as pronounced running along the dorsal portion.

Harpagochromis plagiostoma has no particular preference in regards to substrate. It is found in relatively shallow waters (less than 10m) in sheltered bays and inlets. Haplochromis plagiostomais a strict piscavore feeding on haplochromines and Rastrineobola argentea, a minnow native to Lake Victoria (Greenwood, 1966). At 15cm, Harpagochromis plagiostomais a moderately sized representative of the genus.

serranus (Pfeffer, 1896) Lake Victoria.

Harpagochromis serranusis another Lake Victorian piscavore with a wide distribution. At 20.5cm, Harpagochromis serranus is a formidable hunter on haplochromine cichlids. It can be found close to shore usually over, but not restricted to, a mud bottom.

Harpagochromis serranushas a long pointed head with thick lips and a lower jaw protruding past the upper. Cranial slope is straight or very slightly curved. Teeth in the outer row are mostly unicuspid with smaller individuals containing a few bicuspid as well. Two or three inner rows of teeth are curved as is the front, with unicuspid and sometimes tricuspid (especially in smaller individuals) dentition.

Dominant male coloration consists of a light brown head and back, with bluish green flanks. The dorsal fin is blue grey with red fin rays. The caudal fin is tanned but translucent trimmed in red. The anal fin is also grey with splashes of red and two or three yellow ocelli. A broken bar extends across the back following the upper lateral line while a thicker solid horizontal bar dissects the body from the base of the caudal peduncle to the gill plate.

A number of species including Harpagochromis maculipinna, victorianus, nyanzae, acidens, spekii, pachycephalus, boops, and thuragnathus share distinctive characteristics providing ligament argument supporting a Harpagochromis serranusspecies complex (Greenwood, 1966).

Harpagochromis serranus populations have survived the Nile perch influx and stable pockets remain throughout Lake Victoria.

spekii(Boulenger, 1906) Lake Victoria and the Victorian Nile. Extinct

Humphrey Greenwood considered Harpagochromis spekii and Haplochromis serranoides(Regan, 1922) to be conspecific. At 22cm, Harpagochromis spekiiis one of the larger representatives of the genus.

The cranial slope is straight and arrow shaped ending at a tip in the lower jaw. The lower jaw extends beyond the upper. This is the same cranial shaping as seen in Harpagochromis serranus and common in the Harpagochromis guiarti complex as well. Unicuspid teeth are arranged in 2-6 rows.

Harpagochromis spekii is found in shallow water over a variety of substrate. Haplochromine fish make the vast majority of the diet with the occasional cyprinid or insect taken (Greenwood & Gee, 1969).

squamipinnis (Regan 1921) Lake George, Lake Edward, Kazinga Channel

It is probable that Harpagochromis squamipinnisis the same fish as Harpagochromis mentatus, a Lake Edward counterpart. A large piscavore at 20cm, Harpagochromis squamipinnisexhibits much variation within the species as well as anatomical differences in between juvenile and adult (Greenwood, 1973).

The cranial profile is straight interrupted by a premaxillary hump. The lower jaw extends beyond the upper in larger fish, while the separation is closer to equal in smaller specimens. Small embedded scales extend into the dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal fin is clear at the anterior becoming darker as it progresses towards the caudal region. The pelvic fins are black with a pink hue between rays. The caudal fin is dark and transparent with a red or pink flush. The anal fin is pink with yellow egg spots. Body coloration is dark with a greenish sheen.

In larger specimens (over 13cm) dentition consists of strong, thin unicuspid teeth, while smaller fish (under 5cm) have largely tricuspid crowns. Intermediate individuals contain a mixture of both unicuspid and tricuspid teeth.

Harpagochromis squamipinnisis found over an assortment of differing substrates off shore in open water. Larger individuals are strictly piscavores while younger fish incorporate a large portion of insect matter into their diet. Females may attain a larger adult size than males (Greenwood, 1973).

squamulatus(Regan,1922) Jinja, Uganda, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis squamulatusis a species complex containing many variants. It is a large predator reaching 20cm. In larger members of this species (over 10.5cm) teeth in the outer row of both jaws are unicuspid. Smaller individuals have mostly bicuspid and tricuspid teeth. Inner teeth are arranged in 2-6 rows, mostly tricuspid. The dorsal slope is straight or moderately curved with little if any premaxillary protuberance. The lower jaw extends slightly past the upper.

The body coloration is a silver yellow with individual variation. Two horizontal back bands run the length of the body. One black bar splits the torso midway running from the base (and into) of the caudal fin, straight across to the eye socket. Another thin black band runs just below the dorsal fin. The anal fin is translucent and dotted with two or three yellow egg spots. The pelvic and caudal fins are translucent tinged yellow. The dorsal is clear with a light blue tinge.

Harpagochromis squamulatusis found in a wide variety of situations seemingly never far from land. It is an opportunistic predator patrolling differing substrates with little preference to particular strata. The basic diet of Harpagochromis squamulatusis fish with an affinity to haplochromine type cichlids. Other gut samplings included crustaceans, and insects (Greenwood, 1969).

thuragnathus (Greenwood, 1967) Ramafuta Island, Uganda, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Species description of Harpagochromis thuragnathusbased on three specimens. Largest individual was 20cm. Three or four rows of unicuspid teeth line the jaws. Species samplings were netted over a mud bottom in 38m of water. The species descriptor considered Harpagochromis thuragnathusto be very closely related to Harpagochromis boops. No clear consensus was made whether the two piscavores were distinct enough to be clearly specific or conspecific. The lower jaw extends upwards further in the Ramafuta Island collected Harpagochromis thuragnathusthan in Harpagochromis boops (Greenwood, 1967).

victorianus (Pellegrin, 1904) Kavirondo Bay Kenya, Lake Victoria. Extinct

Harpagochromis victorianusis found over a rich mud bottom in sheltered inlets. Specimen samplings were taken in relatively shallow (8-16m) water where it feeds on small haplochromines. Harpagochromis victorianus reach 16.6cm (Greenwood, 1967). Harpagochromis victorianusresembles Harpagochromis nyanzaeand Harpagochromis serranusin having a deep body shape (akin to Astatotilapia sp. and others).

worthingtoni (Regan, 1929) Lake Kyoga drainage, Uganda. Critically endangered.

Harpagochromis worthingtoniforms a species complex endemic to the Kyoga lakes. This predator reaches 20cm (Greenwood, 1980). A probable representative of this assemblage is known as Harpagochromis sp. "torpedo kribensis" from Lake Nawampassa, Uganda. This species is an ambush predator whose red flush on the cheeks and gill plates lend to another common name, "big red".


sp. "big blue hunter" Vesi Archipelago, Speke Gulf, Lake Victoria

Harpagochromis sp "big blue hunter" closely resembles Harpagochromis serranusin anatomical appearance. It has a more convex cranial profile than the former as well as a shorter, wider lower jaw. Harpagochromis sp. "blue rock hunter"contains more inner tooth rows that Harpagochromis serranus. Conditioned males sport a light blue body and much more red in the caudal fin that Harpagochromis serranus.

Harpagochromis sp. "blue rock hunter"patrols steep rocky slopes in search of smaller cichlids that account for the vast majority of its diet. It grows to 20cm and there is no size difference between the sexes. This species is not at all common at the Vesi Archipelago and Seehausen (1996) considers Harpagochromis sp. "big blue hunter"critically endangered.

sp. "golden duck" Lake Nawampassa

Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" is native to Lake Nawampassa, Uganda. It was first introduced to the aquarium hobby by a Laif DeMason of Old World Exotic Fish (Kaufman, 2005). Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" is one of the smaller members of the genus attaining a length of 15cm. Female and immature or subdominant males display a creamy-colored underbelly that joins the mid-lateral horizontal black band and runs the length of the body from the caudal peduncle to the gill plate. Another black horizontal line runs along the upper lateral line. Base coloration of the body is a dull gold color. Dominant male coloration is completely jet black. Varying stages of coloration exist from the subdominant to the dominant bloom. Two or three bright orange ocelli spot the anal fin. The anal, dorsal and caudal fins range from translucent to jet black, varying with body coloration.

Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"is deceptively peaceful in a community tank. It can safely be housed with docile cichlids of similar size. It will however, as a piscivore, engulf any fish it can fit into its large mouth. Catfish of the Synodontisgenus make suitable tank mates. Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"is a substrate spawner employing the common haplochromine method of the female circling the male, dropping eggs, and quickly turning to pick them up. In between the females’ turns, she nuzzles at the outspread anal fin presumably thinking that the ocelli are her own eggs. The male releases his milt fertilizing the eggs. Spawning occurs on the substrate with no effort going into creating a bower or nest.

Holding females are not harassed by the other members of my Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" colony. My tanks hover between 75F and 85F generally, and I stripped the holding female 17 days post spawning. At this time the fry had completely absorbed their yolk sac and were free swimming. I found the fry to be very hardy in the twenty gallon tank they were placed in. This tank is filtered with a Dirt Magnet® sponge filter. My first spawn of Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"yielded 23 hardy fry

I feed my Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"colony basic commercial staple flake as their main source of nutrition. Supplementary feedings of live Gambusia and frozen adult brine shrimp are heartily taken as well. The fry are being raised on a diet of crushed flake and powdered Cyclop-eeze®. Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"fry grow quickly reaching 2cm in 60 days.

Tank décor consists of native rocks fashioned into caves sitting on a larger grain sized sand substrate. I feel that Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"males do not stake out much of a territory and the rockwork is for the benefit of the other tank inhabitants (Synodontis flavitaeniatus and Haplochromis sp. "red back scraper). It’s been my experience when dealing with piscivores from the region, specifically Pyxichromis orthostoma, a gravel substrate can cause problems with females holding fry. Females will sometimes pick up a small rock or two with her eggs and in the course of tumbling destroys the embryos, hence the choice of a finer substrate. My colony of ten Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck", containing three males and seven females, are housed in a 55 gallon tank. The tank is filtered by a Hagen® 300 power filter and a small "hang on the back" canister filter.

Harpagochromis sp. "Pallisa black slick"is not a fish for your community setup of tetras. Dominant males are attractive, but for the most part they are not superficially colorful fish. If however, you are interested in trying a species seldom seen in the hobby, or perhaps concerned with species survival and propagating threatened cichlids, you may discover that dedicating a tank to rearing Harpagochromis sp. "Pallisa black slick" most rewarding.

Additional notes.

I was fortunate to obtain a group of Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" from James Gibbons, a fellow hobbyist who has been working with the species for some time. When I first observed my group of Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" reaching adulthood, I was reminded of another species I had seen but never kept, Harpagochromis sp. Pallisa black slick". I believe it probable that Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"and Harpagochromis sp. "Pallisa black slick" to be one in the same.

A colleague in Europe informed me of a discussion which took place among German hobbyists and concerned the topic of whether Harpagochromis sp. "Pallisa black slick"and Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck" were the same fish or not. It was determined that the two were indeed different species as the female "black slick" is a silver fish, and the "golden duck" wore more a golden color. It was also noted that the "golden duck" is found in shallow water close to shore while the "black slick" is an open water species found in deeper strata.

Admittedly, I have not been able to ascertain whether Harpagochromis sp. "Pallisa black slick"and Harpagochromis sp. "golden duck"are distinct species, or if the female difference in coloration noted by German aquarists, is intra-species color differentiation. I have not been able to locate reference (with certainty) to the niche they occupy within the Kyoga drainage. Wild caught specimens are stored at Harvard University. Perhaps one day someone can investigate the samplings in detail and perhaps arrive at a definitive answer.

sp. "orange rock hunter" Gabalema Islands

First collected by Yves Fermon and Ole Seehausen, Harpagochromis sp "orange rock hunter"is a large piscavore at 25-30 cm. It is not aggressive when housed with larger tank mates that cannot be easily swallowed. Smaller fish will eventually disappear in the company of Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter". Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter" is closely related to the Harpagochromis howesi complex however there is enough differentiation (shorter lower jaw, larger eyes, larger egg spots) at adulthood to clearly be a distinct species (Seehausen, 1998).
The body is elongated and laterally compressed. The male head coloration is steel gray with two stripes crossing the snout. Another stripe begins below the corner of the moth and continues to the out edge of the large eye. A black bar crosses the middle of the eye and the vertical stripe continues onto the forehead. The back is greenish yellow with a broken spotted line running roughly along the upper lateral organ. A solid black bar runs horizontally along mid body. The belly is bright orange with the coloring running in between the soft rays of the pelvic and solid on the anal fin. The two hard rays of the pelvic fin are elongated and black. The dorsal fin is bright blue fading to translucent with traces of red towards the caudal region. The caudal fin is mostly clear with slight splashes of red. One or two large ocelli decorate the anal fin.
Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter"is found only at Gabalema Island at the entrance to Mwanza Gulf (Fermon, 2005). It inhabits the crevices between boulders where it lays in wait for unsuspecting prey. Not common in the aquarium hobby, Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter" is rare in its native waters as well.
Harpagochromis sp. "orange rock hunter" is a maternal mouth brooder with a twist. The female gestates her larvae for three weeks. At release, the male will tend the fry for another three weeks. This has only been witnessed once in captivity and brood care was by a wild caught male. It’s unclear if captive bred males demonstrate this advanced brood care behavior. Brood sizes are notoriously small.

Additional notes

A number of recently discovered piscavores lack scientific classification but adhere to the genus Harpagochromis. They are listed here with colorfully descriptive names that have no bearing on lineage or classifications. These include sp. "two stripe white lip"and sp. "frogmouth" collected near Jinja Uganda and from Lake Edward sp. "bronze", sp. yellow snout", sp. "red fin predator".
Harpagochromis sq. "two stripe white lip"has not knowingly been taken from its native waters since 1998. Captive populations or Harpagochromis "two stripe white lip"(or like species) are contained in the Lake Victoria Species Survival Program (Kaufman, 2005).

Harpagochromis sp. brass

Harpagochromis sp. red fin predator

Harpagochromis sp. two stripe white lip

Harpagochromis sp. yellow snout predator

References (1):


Steeves, Greg. (January 29, 2006). "Harpagochromis (Pfeffer, 1896), a Genus Review". Cichlid Room Companion. Retrieved on March 23, 2017, from: