Giant cichlid

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Giant cichlid
DKoehl Boulengerochromis microlepis.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe: Boulengerochromini
Genus: Boulengerochromis
Pellegrin, 1904
Species: B. microlepis
Binomial name
Boulengerochromis microlepis
(Boulenger, 1899)

The giant cichlid (Boulengerochromis microlepis), also known as the emperor cichlid, is a species of fish in the Cichlidae family, endemic to Lake Tanganyika in Africa.[2][3] It is the only member of its genus Boulengerochromis and tribe Boulengerochromini.[4]

The species was originally described as Tilapia microlepis by George Albert Boulenger in 1899. Realizing that it was not a tilapia, the genus Boulengerochromis was coined in 1904 by Jacques Pellegrin, honouring G.A. Boulenger.

Males reach a length up to 90 cm (3.0 ft) and females up to 75 cm (2.5 ft), possibly making it the largest species of cichlid,[5] although other suggest that prize goes to the speckled peacock bass (Cichla temensis) of South America.[6]

The giant cichlid is endemic to Lake Tanganyika where it occurs in the countries of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.[1] It is common and found in coastal areas to depths of 100 m (330 ft).[1] Adults are mainly piscivorous and juveniles are omnivores.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Bigirimana, C. 2005. Boulengerochromis microlepis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 4 August 2007.
  2. ^ Boulengerochromis microlepis FishBase (2006) Eds. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. version (07/2014).
  3. ^ a b SeriouslyFish: Boulengerochromis microlepis. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  4. ^ Meyer, Matchiner, Salburger, Britta, Michael, Walter (2015). "A tribal level phylogeny of Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes based on a genomic multi-marker approach". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 83: 56–71. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.10.009. 
  5. ^ Bailey, M. (13 June 2016). The 10 biggest cichlids. Practical Fishkeeping. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  6. ^ Reis, P. (2015), Aspects of life history of Cichla temensis (Perciformes: Cichlidae) and its relationship to the Amazon basin's flood pulse, Rutgers University