Pelvicachromis rubrolabiatus , Anton Lamboj, 2004

Anton Lamboj, 2004, Pelvicachromis signatus and Pelvicachromis rubrolabiatus, two new cichlid species (Teleostei, Perciformes) from Guinea, West Africa., Zootaxa 454, pp. 1-12: 2-6

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Pelvicachromis rubrolabiatus

new species

Pelvicachromis rubrolabiatus  ZBK  , new species

(Figs. 1-3)

Pelvicachromis spec. “Bandi II”  -Linke & Staeck, 2002, 177; -Lamboj 1999, 4 and 56.

Holotype. NMW 94835, male, 59.5 mm SL; Guinea: Kolente basin, Badi river; S. Sidibe, Nov 2002. 

Paratypes. All same data as holotype: NMW 94836, 1 female, 35.7 mm SL  ; MRAC A2-011-P-19-20, 1 male, 1 female 65.2-48.1 mm SL  .

Additional material: NMW 94837, 1 male, 1 female, 50.5+64.4 mm SL; Guinea: Kolente basin; imported by F. Bitter, Feb 1999, used for clearing and staining  . 2 males, 2 females, Guinea: Kolente basin; imported by F. Bitter, Feb 1999, used for behavioral observations  .

Diagnosis. A species of Pelvicachromis  with the following combination of characters: 2 contiguous posterior infraorbital bones, 26-27 vertebrae (14-15 abdominal, 12 caudal), preorbital depth 19.8-23.5% HL, cheek depth 28.4-31.7% HL, 14-16 gill rakers on outer row of 1s branchial arch, 7 dark vertical bars on the body, fins without color markings in both sexes except occasionally 1 or 2 dark spots in female´s dorsal fin.

Description. Measurements and meristic counts for holotype and 3 paratypes are given in Table 1. Sexual dimorphism and dichromatism well developed. First ray of pelvic fin always longest in males, tip of pelvic fin reaching to or overlapping origin of anal fin. In females, first ray of pelvic fin shorter or equal in length to second ray. Caudal fin rounded in both sexes. Some rays in posterior parts of dorsal and anal fins pronounced, but always much longer in males. Males about 1/3 larger than females.

Osteology and dentition. Infraorbital series with a lachrymal and 2 tubular elements; lachrymal with 4 openings of the laterosensory system. Vertebrae count: Total of 26-27, 14-15 abdominal and 12 caudal. Premaxilla with 1, dentary with 1-2 rows of unicuspid teeth. Anteriorly in lower jaws some teeth orientated posteriorly, not buccally. Lower pharyngeal tooth-plate triangular, laterally with teeth shouldered and unicuspid, centrally with bicuspid teeth.

Gill rakers on 1st gill arch: 8-9 tuberculate ceratobranchial, 6-8 pointed epibranchial. Well developed hanging pad on roof of pharynx.

Squamation. Cycloid. 3 rows of scales on cheek, 4 horizontal rows on operculum. Dark spot posteriorly on opercle without scales. Chest-scales smaller than body scales.

Upper lateral line separated from dorsal-fin base at highest point (8th pored scale) by 2 scales, on last pored scale by 1 scale. About 1/4 of caudal fin basally covered with scales; other fins without scales.

Coloration. Living specimens: Body brown, with head and dorsal parts darker than ventral parts. Seven dark bars visible on body in most behavioral situations, e. g. when dominant and aggressive (but always more evident in males). Anteriormost bar situated at about height of pectoral fin and posteriormost bar at end of caudal peduncle. Parts of cheek and opercle posses iridescent green to turquoise regions, normally brighter in females. Body scales with dark margins, more prominent in males than in females. Pectoral fins colorless to pale yellow.

Male specific coloration (Fig. 2): Lips red. No special markings in fins. Dorsal fin with red outer margin; rest of fin brownish to reddish, with most posterior parts clear to pale yellow. Caudal fin with thin red upper margin and reddish coloration in most anterior portions; rest of fin pale yellow. 1 ovoid black spot on anteriormost part of the caudal fin directly after last dark bar on caudal peduncle visible in most cases. Anal fin rosy to violet. Pelvic fins wine red to violet, anterior edge dark blue to black with thin blue margin.

Female specific coloration (Fig. 3): Lips brown. Bright yellow blotch on flanks directly behind pectoral fins. Belly of ripe females rosy to violet. Dorsal fin yellow, with thin black margin. 1 or 2 black spots in posterior portion of spiny dorsal. Caudal fin clear to pale yellow. Anterior parts of anal fin light blue, rest of fin pale yellow to clear. Pelvic fins dark violet to black, with thin anterior margin of white to light blue coloration.

Preserved specimens (Fig. 1): Coloration of head and body brown, with upper half darker than ventral parts. Dark ovoid blotch on caudal peduncle in males and black spots in the females’ fins always visible. Unpaired fins brownish.

Breeding behavior. No information from the wild available. In aquaria, a pair-bonding, cave-breeding species, as typical for the genus (Greenwood, 1987; Linke & Staeck, 2002; own observations). The female usually guards eggs and larvae; rarely the male does too. When swimming free, juveniles are guarded by both parents.

Distribution (Fig. 4). Known only from the Badi River in the Kolente River basin in Guinea; possibly in sympatric with P. signatus  ZBK  .

Etymology. Rubrum, Latin for “red” and labiatum, Latin for “lipped”-referring to the red lips of the male.

Comparisons. Pelvicachromis rubrolabiatus  ZBK  differs from all other members of the genus except P. humilis  and P. signatus  ZBK  in possessing 2 contiguous posterior infraorbital bones (vs. lachrymal and 3 tubular infraorbital bones with a small gap between tubular infraorbital 2 and 3). It differs from P. humilis  and P. signatus  ZBK  in having 7 vs. 8 vertical dark bars on the body and absence of coloration patterns in male fins. Additionally it differs from P. humilis  in tending to have a lesser preorbital depth (19.8-23.5% HL, mean 21.6 vs. 22.3-27.7% HL, mean 24.3) and lesser cheek depth (28.4-31.7% HL, mean 29.8 vs. 31.0-36.2% HL, mean 33.0). It differs from P. signatus  ZBK  in having a lesser preorbital depth (19.8-23.5% HL vs. 25.0-28.7% HL), additionally it tends to have a higher number of gill rakers on outer row of 1st branchial arch (14-16 vs. 12-14), a greater head length (31.8-34.0% SL, mean 32.9 vs. 29.3-33.0% SL, mean 31.6), and lesser cheek depth (28.4-31.7% HL, mean 29.8 vs. 31.5-36.1% HL, mean 33.8).


Austria, Wien, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien


Belgium, Tervuren, Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale