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Rhamphochromis sp. "Chilingali".jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cichliformes
Family: Cichlidae
Tribe: Haplochromini
Genus: Rhamphochromis
Regan, 1922
Type species
Hemichromis longiceps
Günther, 1864

Rhamphochromis is a genus of East African cichlids endemic to the Lake Malawi basin, including the main lake, Lake Malombe, Lake Chilingali, Chia Lagoon and upper Shire River.[1] They mainly occur in offshore open waters (down to depths of 200 m or 660 ft[2]), but a few species also near the coast.[3] They are piscivores that typically feed on lake sardines and small utaka cichlids.[3]

They are elogated in shape and mainly silver or golden-silver in color, sometimes with yellow fins (especially pelvic and anal fins) and dark horizontal lines along the body. Depending on the species involved, they reach lengths of up to 28 to 45 cm (11–18 in).[4]

Although not closely related, they have sometimes been compared to piscivorous Bathybates cichlids of Lake Tanganyika.[5]


There are currently six recognized species in this genus:[4]


  1. ^ Genner; Nichols; Carvalho; Robinson; Shaw; Smith; and Turner (2007). Evolution of a cichlid fish in a Lake Malawi satellite lake. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 274(1623). doi: 10.1098/rspb.2007.0619.
  2. ^ Lowe-McConnell, R.H. (2003). Recent research in the African Great Lakes: Fisheries, biodiversity and cichlid evolution. Freshwater Forum 20(1): 4—64.
  3. ^ a b Konings, Ad (1990). Ad Konings' Book of Cichlids and all the other Fishes of Lake Malawi. Pp. 458—464. ISBN 978-0866225274.
  4. ^ a b Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2017). Species of Rhamphochromis in FishBase. April 2017 version.
  5. ^ Lindqvist, O.V.; H. Mölsä; K. Solonen; J. Sarvala, editors (1999). From Limnology to Fisheries: Lake Tanganyika and Other Large Lakes. Pp. 213—214. Springer. ISBN 978-0792360179