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Common names:

Taxonomic tree
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish)
Order: Cyprinodontiformes (Rivulines, killifishes and live bearers)
Family: Procatopodidae (African Lampeyes)
Genus: Laciris Huber, 1981
Species: Laciris pelagicus (Worthington, 1932)
Number of Occurrancies: 0

Etymology(based on Sharpf & Lazara 2019)

  • Laciris: lacus, meaning lake, referring to Lake Edward (border between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda), where it is endemic; iris, eye, a member of the “lampeye” family 

  • pelagica: pelagic, i.e., of the open water, referring to its occurrence in the “open deep water” of Lake Edward (border between Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda), where it is endemic

Synonyms: click here to view synonyms

Type locality: Lake Edward. Syntypes at British Museum of Natural History (BMNH)

General notes on identification of African Lampeyes

The Procatopodidae (formerly cyprinodontidae, Poeciliidae) are a family of small fishes, often brightly colored. Both the body and head are covered by scales; mouth is protractile and directed obliquely upwards; Lateral line is absent; dorsal, anal and pelvic fins have no spine; circum-oral barbels are absent. 

Distinguishing characters for the genus and species

Genus Laciris is monotypic, being represented by only one species L. pelagica. The genus closely resembles Lacustricola but differs from the later by having a markedly elongate body (its depth containing 5-5.75 times in standard length, SL). In addition, Laciris in Lake Edward is restricted to surface waters of deep, open waters, while Lacustricola are only confined to shallow, inshore areas and rivers. L. pelagica is easily identified by numerous (relatively small) scales in the longitudinal series (i.e., 36-39) compared to 24-30 scales for the species in genus Lacustricola. Colour is bright yellow, with a mid-lateral streak; caudal fin edged with black. 

Taxonomic notes

This species may be encountered in other literature as Aplocheilichthys pelagicus (now synonym) or Laciris pelagicus. Apparently Laciris is considered feminine, implying the specific name should be pelagica (Eschmeyer et al. 2019). 

Distribution in Uganda: Endemic to Lake Edward   

Occurence: Native

Habitat: Pelagic (deep, open waters of the lake). 

Feeding: Planktonic crustaceans and some insect larvae

Biology: Not much information is available, except that the species may not exceed 5 cm SL. Also, spawning probably occurs in open waters.

Economic importance/End use: Unknown

IUCN conservation status: click here to view IUCN status

Threats: Unknown

Main references

  • Greenwood PH. 1966. The fishes of Uganda. The Uganda Society, Kampala. 131 pages.

  • Sharpf C, Lazara J.K. 2019. Fish Name Etymology Database v1.

  • Eschmeyer W.N, van der Laan R, Fricke R. 2019. Catalog of Fishes. Online version ( 


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Natugonza, V. & Musinguzi, L. (editors) 2021. Freshwater Biodiversity Portal for Uganda., version (01/2021).


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