The Haplochromis Genus
Malawi cichlids are seperated into two main groups, Haplochromines and Tilapiines. Haplochromines are then divided into two sub groups or genus, Haplochromis and Mbuna. These two genus are then seperated into species. Haplochromis is a ray-finned fish Genus in the family cichlidae. It has been used as the default "wastebin taxon" for pseudocrenilabrinae cichlids of the east african rift, and as such became the "largest" fish "Genus". Many of these cichlids are popular aquarium fishes; like similar Haplochromini they are known as "haplos", "happies" or "haps" among aquarium enthusiasts. The genus was established by F.M. Hilgendorf in 1888.
It was originally conceived as a subgenus of A.C.L.G. Gunther's "Chromis", at that time an even larger "wastebin genus" for pseudocrenilabrinae cichlids. The type species of Hilgendorf was H. obliquidens. "Chromis" of Gunther turned out to be a junior homonym of G. Cuvier's ocean fish genus chromis, established in 1814 already, and was abolished. As the years went by, other genera of (mostly) Haplochromini were lumped with and split again from Haplochromis, and the final delimitation of the clade around H. obliquidens is not yet done. For more information about Haplochromis please visit Wikipedia Haplochromines
Photograph © 2002 African Trading AB SWEDEN (used with permission)