Phylogenetic relationships based on 324 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were examined in 14 species of the genus Cynolebias. The monophyly of the genus relative to three outgroup taxa belonging to the family Rivulidae was supported by the sequence data. Bootstrap values corroborated the existence of intrageneric monophyletic units in both parsimony and Neighbour-joining analyses. These include a Cynolebias bellottii-C. wolterstorffl clade, a C. adloJfi-2, C. duraznensis, C. viarius and C adloffi-1 group, and a C. gymnoventris, C. luteoflammulatus pair and the strongly supported assemblage that includes C. prognalhus and C. cheradophilus clade. Phylogenetic relationships remain poorly supported for C. nigripinnis, C. qffinis and C. alexandri, and unresolved among the previous ingroup clades. Cytochrome b sequences reveal an unexpectedly high level of divergence among species of the genus Cynolebias. Consequently, cytochrome b shows good resolution of recent cladogenetic events but limited phylogenetic information at deeper nodes. High levels of sequence divergence span a broad range within Cynolebias. The highest sequence divergence (c. 28%) occurred among C. antenori and the remaining species of the genus. The minimum divergence value (4.5%) is exhibited by sympatric species C. cheradophilus and C. prognathus.