Diagnosis: It is distinguished from all other lampeyes by the superimposed insertion of dorsal and anal fins vs. dorsal fin insertion always posterior to anal fin insertion by at least 4 rays; besides it is separated from the similarly patterned and sympatric Aplocheilichthys spilauchen by the smaller maximum size in both sexes, by the more advanced dorsal fin, by the less high peduncular depth, by the presence of red pigment markings on male sides and unpaired fins vs. silvery or gold markings, by the absence of a barred pattern on male sides vs. presence, by the absence of melanistic pigments on body vs. with many dark small spots, by the absence of extended rays in male posterior anal fin vs. presence, and by being more laterally compressed; it is separated from Procatopus, Plataplochilus and Rhexipanchax species by the more sharply pointed mouth in addition to the D/A value (Ref. 78622). It is separated from its congeners living in the same region from southern Equatorial Guinea to Cabinda by the rounded shape of the posterior margin of dorsal and anal fins in both sexes vs. cut straight along the last ray, by the vertical red bars in male vs. never such a pattern, by the more conspicious reticulated gray 'net along scale edges vs. faint or absent, and by the absence of an upper acumen or extension in caudal fin of dominant male vs. presence (Ref. 78622).
Description: A small, deep-bodied lampeye killifish with a pointed mouth and snout, with advanced superimposed vertical fins, with an orange spot on upper eye margin of both sexes, with red curved bars on unpaired fins of male, with a gray reticulation on sides (Ref. 78622). Eye large, about 10% of standard length, and like all lampeyes, interorbital narrow, about 15% of standard length. Dorsal fin rays 7-9; anal fin rays 11-13; dorsal/anal insertion derivation -1 to +1; caudal fin longer than deep, 28.5-35.5% of its width; pectoral fin rays 9-10 with a relatively lower median insertion, tip of ventral fins reaching 5th or 6th anal fin ray in adult male, terminally branched rays in unpaired fins (Ref. 78622). Number of scales in longitudinal line 25-28; transversal scales obliquely from dorsal fin insertion towards ventral fins 7.5-8.5; circumpeduncular scales 13-15; two or three series of scales on caudal peduncle (Ref. 78622). Predorsal length short 61.3-65.8% of standard length; preanal length 61.5-65.9% of standard length; preventral length 45.9-50.7% of standard length; and rounded body, very deep with a strong allometry in growth, 20.3-28.5% of standard length, head short 23.5-28.0% of standard length (Ref. 78622). Teeth unicuspid, conical, like all lampeyes, very rare ctenoidy on scales, no branchiostegal appendages in male, no enlarged postopercular scales, four preopercular pores, supraorbital neuromast cephalic pattern variable and intermediate, G-type frontal squamation, with minute scales covering sensitive supraorbital organs (Ref. 78622).
Colouration: In life similar in both sexes, notably for the body gray reticulation and the upper orange spot on eye, except the unpaired fins, red-barred in male with five to six curved bars in caudal fin and posteriorly in vertical fins, hyaline in female (Ref. 78622). In some dominant males, a few red spots are seen on sides near peduncle and the ventral fins (Ref. 78622). Colouration after preservation: the red markings become fainter than in life and the orange spot on eye vanishes; the thin dark line on mid sides, characteristic of lampeyes, is present but only conspicuous on juveniles, from after the opercle to the peduncle, and only seen posteriorly in subadults and hardly seen in fully adult specimens; the other typical thin dark line along lower body base is also conspicuous in juveniles, but less so in subadults and not seen in adults; in both sexes, a faint slightly oblique dark short band on preopercular region, just above the level of insertion of pectoral fins, a dark spot just behind the lower part of eye, and a minute gray dot at base of each anal fin ray, not seen in other lampeyes, are present; the pectoral fins of adult dominant male are somewhat dusky gray with a thin lower dark edge (Ref. 78622).