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Congochromis, a new cichlid genus, is described on the basis of a suite of anatomical features of the cephalic laterosensory system, infraorbital series, oral dentition, and squamation. As recognized herein, Congochromis comprises three species formerly included in the genus Nanochromis (N. squamiceps, N. dimidiatus, and N. sabinae) and a new species from the vicinity of Kisangani (Stanleyville) on the upper Congo River. Diagnostic features for Congochromis and Nanochromis s.str. are provided. Congochromis pugnatus, n.sp. is diagnosed by the possession of a distinctive pattern of hypural fusion, a strongly inclined lower jaw, and an expanded cheek musculature.