Page 1 of 1

Kafue cichlids

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:31 pm
by Adrian Indermaur

this summer I also spent some short days at the Kafue river in Zambia. Of course I had to catch some fish...
What are your opinions on the id`s of these youngsters?
Serranochromis macrocephalus ?
Oreochromis macrochir ?
Pharyngochromis acuticeps ?
Shoreline at Kafue NP
Thanks and Greetings

Re: Kafue cichlids

Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:46 pm
by Mark Smith
Seem like reasonable and accurate guesses, though the Oreochromis is tricky, particularly at a sub-adult size.

Re: Kafue cichlids

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:54 am
by Rico Morgenstern
I believe the fish in the middle could rather be T. sparrmanii or a related species (there are indications that this 'species' is in fact a composite of several species). Usually, this species is more slender but such deep-bodied specimens are nevertheless known. One was figured in the book by R. A. Jubb (1967) "Freshwater fishes of Southern Africa". The figure (a retouched B/W photo as stated in the book) is reproduced here:

The Oreochromis species, of which two are known from the Kafue (O. macrochir and O. andersonii, perhaps a third one, O. mortimeri does occur in the lowermost section) have higher dorsal fin ray and scale counts and should be more silvery, with a plain anal fin at this size. Aditionally, O. macrochir has black spots on the head and back, and O. andersonii usually shows three to four dark blotches along the middle of the flank.

See a photo of a halfgrown O. macrochir (from the Kunene River in Namibia) here: ... macrochir/

The other two identifications are most likely correct, though its not always easy to distinguish young Sargochromis spp. from Pharyngochromis acuticeps without examination. However, as the fish on the photo appears to be a ripe female rather than a young of a large growing species (judging from the overall shape, the relatively intense fin spotting and the slightly produced pelvic fins), it can only be the small P. acuticeps.