The anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of two genera of African cichlid fishes, Rhamphochromis from Lake Malawi and Bathybates from Lake Tanganyika, are investigated. In accordance with the current methods of cladistic analysis data from representatives of a wide range of cichlid taxa are included for outgroup comparison. Particular emphasis is placed upon the anatomy of the ethmovomerine region of the neurocranium, the cheek musculature, and the pharyngeal jaw apparatus.
Based upon a number of synapomorphic characters an hypothesis of a sistergroup
relationship between the monophyletic genus, Bathybates, and a monophyletic
assemblage consisting of the genera Hemibates and Trematocara is formulated.
A similar resolution of the relationships of Rhamphochromis has not been achieved;
the differential success of the study is discussed and additional data relevant to
unravelling the status and relationships of Rhamphochromis are introduced.