Original description as Copadichromis atripinnis:
- Stauffer, Jay Richard Jr. & T. Sato. 2002. "A new species of Copadichromis (Cichlidae) from Thumbi West Island, Lake Malawi". Ichthyological Explorations of Freshwaters. v. 13; n. 1; pp. 91-95 (crc00968)
Conservation: Copadichromis atripinnis is evaluated by the international union for the conservation of nature in the iucn red list of threatened species as (VU) vulnerable (2006). Copadichromis atripinnis and utaka in general are the hardest hit group of species that is currently being over-fished in Lake Malawi. Because of the fact that they feed in the water column away from rocks, fishermen can scoop large numbers effectively with their so-called Chirimila nets. There are still good numbers of Copadichromis atripinnis around as they seem to prefer to stay relatively close to rocks where nets get snagged easily.