Original description as Haplochromis arcanus:
- Greenwood, Peter Humphry & J. M. Gee. 1969. "A revision of the Lake Victoria Haplochromis species (Pisces, Cichlidae), part VII". Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology Series. v. 18; n. 1; pp. 1-65 (crc01014)
Conservation: Haplochromis arcanus is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (DD) data deficient (2010). Haplochromis arcanus seems extinct or at least critically endangered, no catches have been reported since the 1980s.