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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: Tropheini
Genus: Tropheus
Species: T. annectens – T. brichardi – T. duboisi – T. kasabae – T. moorii – T. polli

Tropheus Boulenger, 1898: 496

Type species: Tropheus moorii Boulenger, 1898
Type by monotypy
Gender: masculine


Boulenger, G.A. 1898: Report on the fishes recently obtained by Mr. J. E. S. Moore in Lake Tanganyika. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London, 1898 (pt 3): 494–497. BHL


Nomenclator Zoologicus

Tropheus is a small genus of at least six species of cichlids endemic to Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. The genus is widespread across all regions of Lake Tanganyika, from Burundi in the north to Zambia in the south. Males and females are relatively similar in color, with only subtle sexual dimorphism in the form of the male's larger size. All species are maternal mouthbrooders, with the females caring for their eggs and fry in their mouths; this characteristic provides their generic name, Tropheus, which comes from the Greek trophos, which means "to nurse" or, according to Boulenger, "one who rears, brings up, educates".[1] The genus is fished lightly by the local population, but has never become a staple food fish due to its relatively small size and its habitat, which enables it to dart between rocks when threatened.

Most species occur along the coastal fringes of the lake at depths less than 3 m. These rocky shores, with numerous rocky outcroppings and boulder formations, form a habitat similar to many of the mbuna cichlids of Lake Malawi. This habitat provides shelter, and due to the shallow depth and the long hours of strong sunlight, heavy algal growth on which they feed. The only Tropheus species to dwell further out and deeper in the lake is Tropheus duboisi, which in general inhabits deeper regions of the lake down to around 15–20 m. All species are algal grazers and have underslung mouths adapted to rasping algae and microinvertebrates from submerged rocks.[2]

The genus is relatively popular with aquarium hobbyists due to the beautiful markings and interesting behavior. Tropheus moorii in particular has become something of a cult fish within the hobby, in spite of the difficulties involved in keeping species of this genus in captivity.[3][4][5][6]
Tropheus duboisi from Kigoma

Six recognized species are in this genus:[7]

Tropheus annectens Boulenger, 1900
Tropheus brichardi Nelissen & Thys van den Audenaerde, 1975
Tropheus duboisi Marlier, 1959 (white spotted cichlid)
Tropheus kasabae Nelissen, 1977
Tropheus moorii Boulenger, 1898 (blunthead cichlid)
Tropheus polli G. S. Axelrod, 1977


Christopher Scharpf & Kenneth J. Lazara (25 September 2018). "Order CICHLIFORMES: Family CICHLIDAE: Subfamily PSEUDOCRENILABRINAE (p-y)". The ETYFish Project Fish Name Etymology Database. Christopher Scharpf and Kenneth J. Lazara. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
Ad Konings (13 June 2016). "Tropheus - Home is where the rocks are". Practical Fishkeeping. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
"Tropheus - home is where the rocks are". 13 June 2016.
"Half a Century with Tropheus Cichlids | TFH Magazine".
"Peaceful herbivores? - far from it! Tropheus sp. "Kasanga"". 13 May 2015.
"Care and Maintenance of Tropheus".
Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). Species of Tropheus in FishBase. April 2013 version.

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