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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohors: Clupeocephala
Cohors: Euteleosteomorpha
Subcohors: Neoteleostei
Infracohors: Eurypterygia
Sectio: Ctenosquamata
Subsectio: Acanthomorphata
Divisio/Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Subdivisio: Percomorphaceae
Series: Ovalentaria
Superordo: Cichlomorphae
Ordo: Cichliformes

Familia: Cichlidae
Subfamilia: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribus: Haplochromini
Genus: Astatotilapia
Species (8): A. bloyeti – A. burtoni – A. calliptera – A. desfontainii – A. flaviijosephi – A. stappersii – A. swynnertoni – A. tweddlei

Astatotilapia Pellegrin, 1904: (164) 299

Type species: Sparus desfontainii Lacépède, 1802
Type by subsequent designation, apparently of Regan, 1922 [fide CoF]


Pellegrin, J. 1904: Contribution à l'étude anatomique, biologique et taxinomique des poissons de la famille des Cichlidés. Memoires Societe Zoologique de France, 16(2-4): 41–400, Pls. 4-7.
Takahashi, T. 2003: Systematics of Tanganyikan cichlid fishes (Teleostei: Perciformes). Ichthyological Research, 50(4): 367–382.


Nomenclator Zoologicus
Astatotilapia species list in FishBase,
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds.) 2023. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication,, version 06/2022.
Astatotilapia and its species (including synonyms) in Catalog of Fishes, Eschmeyer, W.N., Fricke, R. & van der Laan, R. (eds.) 2023. Catalog of Fishes electronic version.

Vernacular names
English: Haplo Fish

Astatotilapia is a genus of small freshwater fish in the family Cichlidae found in Eastern and Northern Africa, with a single species, A. flaviijosephi, in Western Asia (the only non-African haplochromine).[1] Many species have been moved between this genus and Haplochromis, and while some consensus has been reached in recent years, their mutual delimitation is still far from settled.[2] Based on mtDNA, Astatotilapia as currently defined is polyphyletic.[3]

There are currently 10 recognized species in this genus:[2]

Astatotilapia bloyeti (Sauvage, 1883) (Bloyet's haplo)
Astatotilapia burtoni (Günther, 1894)
Astatotilapia calliptera (Günther, 1894) (Eastern happy)
Astatotilapia desfontainii (Lacépède, 1802)[4]
Astatotilapia flaviijosephi (Lortet, 1883) (Jordan mouthbrooder)
Astatotilapia paludinosa Greenwood, 1980
Astatotilapia stappersii (Poll, 1943)
Astatotilapia swynnertoni (Boulenger, 1907)
Astatotilapia tchadensis Trape, 2016[4]
Astatotilapia tweddlei P. B. N. Jackson, 1985

There are a few possibly undescribed species in the genus,[3] such as:

Astatotilapia sp. 'dwarf bigeye scraper'
Astatotilapia sp. 'shovelmouth'

Names brought to synonymy

Astatotilapia elegans (Trewavas, 1933), a synonym for Haplochromis elegans


Werner, N.Y.; O. Mokady (2004). "Swimming out of Africa: mitochondrial DNA evidence for late Pliocene dispersal of a cichlid from Central Africa to the Levant". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 82 (1): 103–109. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2004.00321.x.
Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2017). Species of Astatotilapia in FishBase. April 2017 version.
Genner; Ngatunga; Mzighani; Smith; and Turner (2015). Geographical ancestry of Lake Malawi’s cichlid fish diversity. Biol. Lett. 11: 2015023. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0232
Trape, S. (2016): A new cichlid fish in the Sahara: The Ounianga Serir lakes (Chad), a biodiversity hotspot in the desert. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 339 (11–12): 529–536.

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