Book Review of

The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa

(The bible of West African Cichlids)

by Anton Lamboj

(Hardcover review copy published by Birgit Schmettkamp Verlag)

ISBN: 978-3-92881-933-6

3 Out Of 5 Stars Rating


by Ken Boorman

Natures Talk Show

Cichlid Fishes O fWestern Africa Large


This book fills a void that has existed for too long – an accurate, up-to-date book on the very popular cichlids from West Africa. I was very impressed whilst reading this all-too-short book. Don’t get me wrong – it is very comprehensive. I just wish it could have been longer because of the sheer artistry of writing displayed by Dr. Lamboj, accompanied by his excellent photographs that depicted the subjects discussed. One of the things I was very impressed with was the apparent lack of “fixing”, or colour editing of the photographs by the author and the publisher, something that is prevalent in a lot of other books on fishes by other authors and publishers.

Each cichlid Genus discussed is grouped together with its closest relatives and tabulated into associated tribes. I find this an intriguing and very valuable guide to the relative aquarium care of the different species as one can assume that members of the same tribe are fairly similar in care requirements etc. This seems to be true in most cases.

Dr. Lamboj has the happy knack of being able to write for both the scientific and the hobbyist markets with equal proficiency. I had no difficulty in reading and following the straightforward approach adapted by the author. In short, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone with an interest in these “gems from the West”.




Western Africa (Map), 7

Foreward, 8

Chapter 1: Some Comments on the Systematics of Cichlids from Western Africa, 11

Chapter 2: Natural Habitats of the Cichlids of Western Africa, 13

Chapter 3: Cichlids from West and Central Africa in Aquaria, 19

Chapter 4: The Cichlid Species of Western Africa, 21

Subfamily Heterochromidinae, 21

Genus Heterochromis Regan, 1920

Subfamily Pseudocrenilabrinae, 23

Tribe Tylochromini

Genus Tylochromis Regan, 1920

Genus with specific status, 29

Genus Etia Schliewen & Stiassny, 2003

Tribe Tilapiini, 31

Genus Chilochromis Boulenger, 1902

Genus Gobiocichla Kanazawa, 1951

Genus Konia Trewavas, Green & Corbet, 1972

Genus Myaka Trewavas in Trewavas et al., 1972

Genus Oreochromis Gunther, 1889

Genus Pungu Trewavas, 1972

Genus Saratherodon Ruppel, 1852

Genus Steatocranus Boulenger, 1899

Genus Stomatepia Trewavas, 1962

Genus Tilapia Smith, 1840

Tribe Hemichromini, 94

Genus Anamolochromis Greenwood, 1985

Genus Hemichromis Peters, 1858

Tribe Pelmatochromini, 123

Genus Pterochromis Trewavas, 1973

Genus Pelmatochromis Steindachner, 1894

Tribe Chromidotilapiini, 127

Genus Benitochromis Lamboj, 2001

Genus Chromidotilapia Boulenger, 1898

Genus Divandu Lamboj & Snoeks, 2000

Genus Limbochromis Greenwood, 1987

Genus Nanochromis Pellegrin, 1904

Genus Parananochromis Greenwood, 1987

Genus Pelvicachromis Thys van den Audenaerde, 1968

Genus Teleogramma Boulenger, 1899

Genus Thysochromis Daget, 1988

Tribe Lamprologini, 202

Genus Lamprologus Schilthius, 1891

Tribe Haplochromini, 208

Genus Astatotilapia Pellegrin, 1903

Genus Chetia Trewavas, 1961

Genus Ctenochromis Peters, 1983

Genus Cyclopharynx Poll, 1948

Genus Orthochromis Greenwood, 1954

Genus Pharyngochromis Greenwood, 1979

Genus Pseudocrenilabrus Fowler, 1935

Genus Sargochromis Regen, 1920

Genus Schwetzochromis Poll, 1948

Genus Serranochromis Regen, 1920

Genus Thoracochromis Greenwood, 1979

List of References, 240

Index, 246

While this book was lauded and sorely needed at the time of publication (2004), it is now somewhat outdated taxonomically. Regardless, it is still an essential addition to the library of anyone with an interest in the cichlid fishes of Western Africa.

Review of The Cichlid Fishes of Western Africa

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