The cichlid fishes of the genus Labeotropheus were first described in 1927, when the type species, L. fuelleborni, was described as a new species by the German ichthyologist Ernst Ahl. A second species, L. trewavasae, was described in 1956 by the British zoologist Geoffrey Fryer. For the next 50 years, despite the tremendous scientific attention paid to understanding and delineating the fantastic diversity of cichlid fishes, no further species of Labeotropheus were described; in fact, many ichthyologists believed that no further species of Labeotropheuscould possibly exist.
In 2016, a description of two new species of Labeotropheus will be published by MPM Adjunct Curator and Research Fellow Dr. Michael J. Pauers. Doctor Pauers spent several years studying the body shapes of these fishes, and used this information, along with the unique breeding coloration of the males, to distinguish these two species from L. fuelleborni and L. trewavasae. Until the description is officially published, the names of these two new branches of the fish tree of life have to remain secret, so stay tuned for more news about these beautiful new fishes!