News on cichlids
A new species of Apistogramma from the lower Atabapo drainage in Colombia has been described by Wolfgang Staeck and Ingo Schindler in the journal Vertebrate Zoology. The new species A. psammophila can be distinguished from all congeners by a combination of characters, including two horizontal stripes on body sides, two pectoral spots, a suborbital stripe becoming much wider ventrally and no caudal spot. The more similar species is Apistogramma diplotaenia. The specific name given to this species is derived from Greek and means “friend of the sand”, in reference the habitat preference of this species.
Staeck, Wolfgang & I, Schindler. 2019. "Apistogramma psammophila – a new geophagine dwarf cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Rio Atabapo drainage in Colombia and Venezuela". Vertebrate Zoology. 69(1):103-110. DOI: 10.26049/VZ69-1-2019-05 (crc09295) (abstract)
A new species of Gymnogeophagus, G. jaryi from the middle Parana River basin in Misiones, Argentina has been described by Felipe Alonso and a group of ten persons in the journal Plos One. The new species is diagnosed by meristic and color pattern differences with other species of the genus. It is established to be the sister species of G. caaguazuensis from which it differs by a longer caudal peduncle, caudal fin not lyrate, central portion of scales on dorsal portion of trunk light iridescent blue and by white spots in soft portion of dorsal fin in adult males. The specific name given to the new species jaryi means grandmother in Guarani and has been “dedicated to the Non-Governmental Organization of “Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo”, created in 1977 whose objective is to locate and restore to their legitimate families all the children disappeared by the last Argentine dictatorship”. The new species can also be found in adjacent areas in Paraguay.
Alonso, Felipe & G.E. Terán, G. Aguilera, O. Rícan, J. Casciotta, W.S. Serra, A. Almirón, M.F. Benítez, I. García, J.M. Mirande. 2019. "Description of a new species of the Neotropical cichlid genus Gymnogeophagus Miranda Ribeiro, 1918 (Teleostei: Cichliformes) from the Middle Paraná basin, Misiones, Argentina". Plos One. 14(2):e0210166. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0210166 (crc09294) (abstract)
A new species of Gymnogeophagus from Uruguay has been described by Andréia Turcati, Wilson Sebastián Serra-Alanis & Luiz R. Malabarba in the journal Neotropical Ichthyology. The new species owns somewhat hyperthrophied lips like the related G. labiatus and G. lacustris but it is diagnosed to differ from those species by the lack of an oblique bar from the eye to the dorsal-fin origin and by the color pattern of the caudal, dorsal and anal fins with dots (versus without them). The name given to this species is Gymnogeophagus peliochelynion with the specific name derived from Greek and meaning "black and blue lips". The new species is known from the río Arapey Grande drainage, a tributary of the lower río Uruguay basin.
Turcati, Andréia & W.S. Serra Alanis, L.R. Malabarba. 2018. "A new mouth brooder species of Gymnogeophagus with hypertrophied lips (Cichliformes: Cichlidae)". Neotropical Ichthyology. 16(4):Epub. DOI: 10.1590/1982-0224-20180118 (crc09183) (abstract)
A new paper by Rico Morgenstern brings to light facts that force important nomenclature changes for two well-known Central American cichlid species: Parachromis friedrichsthalii and P. loisellei. The paper details the circumstances and presents an examination of the fish collections made by Emanuel Ritter von Friedrichsthal in Central America between 1838 and 1841. The most important results establish that the fish we now know as Parachromis loisellei was in fact previously described as P. friedrichsthalii, a name we should now use when referring to this species. The fish hitherto known as Parachromis friedrichsthalii should now be called P. multifasciatus. The name Parachromis loisellei falls now in junior synonymy with P. friedrichsthalii. These changes may create confusion but get use closer to have a sounder picture of Central American cichlids taxonomy.
A new paper by Michael K. Oliver contains the description of six new deep water Otopharynx cichlid species from Lake Malawi, to make a total of 20 species currently described in the genus. The new species are as follow: Otopharynx alpha, previously treated as Otopharynx 'auromarginatus stripe', is distinguished from congeners by its unique melanin pattern, to which the specific name alfa refers, a dot followed by a dash, representing “A” in International Morse Code; Otopharynx mumboensis, previously known as Protomelas sp. 'virgatus mumbo', is thought to be endemic to Mumbo Island in Malawi, it is separated from some congeners by the melanin pattern and from others by some meristic and morphometric traits; Otopharynx styrax, previously known as Otopharynx sp. 'torpedo blue' has a more elongate body than any congener, the specific name styrax is Greek for the metal spike at the lower end of a spear shaft, reflecting its elongated shape; Otopharynx aletes, previously referred as Oreochromis sp. 'molariform striped', is diagnosed by a combination of melanin, meristics and morphometric traits, the specific name aletes meaning grinder in Greek, and refers to its well-defined group of conspicuously enlarged molariform teeth on the lower pharyngeal bone; Otopharynx panniculus is also diagnosed by a combination of melanin, meristics and morphometric traits, most notably a square spot on the mid-flank which gives it its specific name, meaning “small cloth patch” in Latin; Finally Otopharynx peridodeka, previously referred as Trematocranus 'brevirostris deep', is similar to O. panniculus, but has more scales in the lateral line and a median of 12 lower gill rakers, versus a median of 14.5 in O. panniculus, the specific name peridodeka is a combined word meaning from Greek “around 12” which refers to this trait.
Oliver, Michael K.. 2018. "Six New Species of the Cichlid Genus Otopharynx from Lake Malawi (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History. 59(2):159–197 (crc08933) (abstract)
A new paper authored by Nathan Vranken, M. Van Steenberge, and Jos Snoeks has been published in the journal Hydrobiologia with a study of the cichlids of Lake Edward, concluding with the presence of five species feeding on other cichlids fry (phaedopahgus) in the Lake Edward system, a quite surprising number considering a cichlid fauna that may only reach a total of 60 species (36 described so far), extrapolating, this would mean that 70 phaedopagus species could inhabit Lake Malawi and 20 in Lake Tanganyika; far from this amount are recorded so far. The paper describes three of the species as new: Haplochromis molossus, with a specific name that refers to a “pug-like-head” (Molossus hound is a breed of dog from ancient southern Europe); Haplochromis gracilifur named after its slender body (gracilis = slender in Latin) and paedophagous diet (fur is thief in Latin); and Haplochromis relictidens, named in reference to the decrease in number with size of outer teeth in both jaws (relinquere means relinquish and dens means tooth in Latin); The three new species are established as endemic to the Lake Edward system — including the Kazinga channel for H. relictidens). The other two studied phaedophagus species correspond to Haplochromis taurinus and H. paradoxus.
Vranken, Nathan & M. Van Steenberge, J. Snoeks. 2018. "Grasping ecological opportunities: not one but five paedophagous species of Haplochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) in the Lake Edward system". Hydrobiologia. 1–30. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-018-3742-5 (crc08596) (abstract)
Five new species of small current loving cichlids of the genus Ortochromis from East Africa have been described by Frederic Schedel, Emmanuel Vreven, Bauchet Manda, Emmanuel Abwe, Auguste Manda & Ulrich Schliewen in the journal Zootaxa. The five new species are distributed in fast flowing relatively shallow rivers in northern Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, they are diagnosed by unique or combined meristic or coloration features. Orthochromis mporokoso is named after Mporokoso [Zambia] a town around the type locality; Orthochromis katumbii is named after Mr. Moïse Katumbi; Orthochromis kimpala refers to the local name for this species; Orthochromis gecki is named after named in honour of Mr. Jakob Geck, a German fish naturalist and Orthochromis indermauri (previously known as Orthochromis sp. 'chomba') honors the Swiss ichthyologist Dr. Adrian Indermaur, who was the first to document this new species with underwater photographs, videos, and with aquarium observations.
Schedel, Frederic D. B & E.J.W.M.N. Vreven, B.K. Manda, E. Abwe, A. Manda, U.K. Schliewen. 2018. "Description of five new rheophilic Orthochromis species (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Upper Congo drainage in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo". Zootaxa. 4461(3),. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4464.3.1 (crc08570) (abstract)
Three new species of Geophagus of the G. brasiliensis group, the three of them endemic to coastal rivers in eastern Brazil have been described by the Brazilian ichthyologists José L. Mattos and Wilson Costa in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution. The species were delimited and diagnosed by a mix of both unique combinations of characters and DNA differences, the latter a novel approach in cichlid taxonomy. Geophagus rufomarginatus is known only from the middle and lower sections of the Buranhém River Basin in Bahia state, it is named after the red margin of the dorsal-fin lappets; Geophagus santosi is known only from the Rio Mariana, an isolated small coastal river of Bahia state, it is named in honor of Alexandre Clistenes Alcântara Santos, an ichthyologist friend of the authors; Geophagus multiocellus is known only from the middle section of the Rio de Contas Basin in Bahia stat, it is named after the presence of small pale blue spots with minute bright blue dots on its center on the caudal fin.
Mattos, José L & W.J.E.M. Costa. 2018. "Three new species of the ‘Geophagus’ brasiliensis species group from the northeast Brazil (Cichlidae, Geophagini)". Zoosystematics and Evolution. 94(2):325-337. DOI: 10.3897/zse.94.22685 (crc08536) (abstract)
A paper by the Brazilian ichthyologist Felipe P. Ottoni has been recently published in the journal Vertebrate Zoology presenting comprehensive diagnoses for all the species of the south American cichlid genus Laetacara. Diagnoses are based on characters included in their original descriptions as well as additional observed data. A key for their identification is also included, as well as updated distribution ranges for each one of them.
Ottoni, Felipe. 2018. "Update of diagnoses, information on distribution, species, and key for identification of Laetacara species (Teleostei, Cichlidae, Cichlasomatini)". Vertebrate Zoology. 68(1):47-63 (crc08497) (abstract)
A new species of Crenicichla from the Rio Xingu in the Amazon drainage has been described by Henrique Rosa Varela and Priscilla Ito in the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. The new species, previously known as Crenicichla sp. ‘Xingu III’, has been given the name Crenicichla dandara, in reference to an Afro-Brazilian warrior of Brazil’s colonial period, a woman symbol of the struggle against racism and the exploitation of black women. The new species is diagnosed from all other Crenicicla species (except C. hu) by an adult body live coloration uniformly black, and from C. hu by having a significant larger number of scales in the longitudinal line above the lateral line (74–86 versus 47–54). The new species is only currently known from the Middle to Upper Rio Xingu basin in the Amazon drainage in Brazil. Although part of the range of C. dandara has been destroyed (or will be) by the construction of the Belo Monte dam, the species is still found in a large area, and hence it is tentatively classified as of least concern according to the criteria of the IUCN.
Varella, Henrique Rosa & P.M.M. Ito. 2018. "Crenicichla dandara, new species: the black jacundá from the Rio Xingu (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 166(1):1-12. DOI: 10.1635/053.166.0104 (crc08498) (abstract)
Two new species of Diplotaxodon from deep Malawian waters of Lake Malawi have been described by Jay Stauffer, Titus Phiri & Ad Konings in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. Diplotaxodon altus, one of the new species has its type locality at Chipoka; it gets its specific name from both the deep body of the fish and its deep water habitat; between 40–130 m. It was previously known in scientific literature as Diplotaxodon 'deep’ or Diplotaxodon sp. 'similis white-back south'. Diplotaxodon longimaxilla, the second new species, has its type locality at Domira Bay; it gets its name because of its long upper jaw bone. It was found to be a common species in trawl nets from depths below 80 m. D. longimaxilla was known is scientific literature as Diplotaxodon 'brevimaxillaris'. Both species are diagnosed from the rest of the Diplotaxodon species by a combination of morphological proportions.
Stauffer, Jay Richard Jr. & T.B. Phiri, A.F. Konings. 2018. "Description of two deep-water fishes of the genus Diplotaxodon (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 131(1):90-100. DOI: 10.2988/PBSW-D-17-00004 (crc08486) (abstract)
A new species of Trematocranus species from Lake Malawi has been described from Jafua Bay in Mozambique by Katrien Dierickx, M. Hanssens, B. Rusuwa and Jos Snoek in the journal Zookey. The new species: Trematocranus pachychilus was found in 1998 during a bottom trawl sampling of the Mozambique coast at about 11-13 m depth, it apparently has not been photographed alive. The specific name given to the species derives from Greek and means “with thick lips”; in reference to the main diagnostic character of the new species among other Trematocranus. T. pachychilus appears to be at least a partially molluscivorous species.
Dierickx, Katrien & M. Hanssens, B. Rusuwa, J. Snoeks. 2018. "Trematocranus pachychilus, a new endemic cichlid from Lake Malawi (Teleostei, Cichlidae)". Zookeys. (743):153-166. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.743.22814 (crc08458) (abstract)
A new species of Satanoperca from the Rio Madeira in the Amazon basin has been described by Renata R. Ota, S.O. Kullander, G.C. Deprá, W.J. da Graça and C.A. Pavanelli in the journal Zootaxa. The new species, Satanoperca curupira, is diagnosed to differ from all other Satanoperca species by having 3–7 dark-brown irregular oblique stripes under the eye, versus two or none in other species. The specific name curupira refers to a mythological creature of Brazilian folklore that protects the forest and its inhabitants, punishing those who hunt for pleasure or who kill breeding females or defenseless juveniles. Forty two preserved specimens have been used for the description.
Ota, Renata Rúbia & S.O. Kullander, G.C. Deprá, W.J. da Graça, C.A. Pavanelli. 2018. "Satanoperca curupira, a new cichlid species from the rio Madeira basin in Brazil (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Zootaxa. 4379(1):103–112. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4379.1.6 (crc08424) (abstract)
A new species description of a Crenicichla in the C. saxatilis group of species has just been published in the journal Zootaxa, authored by Henrique Rosa Varella, Marina V. Loeb, Flávio C.T. Lima and Seven O. Kullander. The new species C. ploegi has been named after Alex Ploeg, a Dutch Crenicichla specialist tragically murdered with his wife and son in the Malaysia Airlines 17 (MH17) airplane attack in Ukraine on 17 July 2014. The new species has been diagnosed to differ from all species in the C. saxatilis group by the presence of dark spots and vermiculations on snout, interorbital area and dorsally on head in many adults, versus dark markings absent or present only in juveniles but absent in adults in other species, it also has a wider lateral band. The new species is known from both the upper Rio Paraguai (Paraná drainage) and upper Rio Juruena (Amazon basin) in Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Varella, Henrique Rosa & M.V. Loeb, F.C.T. Lima, S.O. Kullander. 2018. "Crenicichla ploegi, a new species of pike-cichlid of the C. saxatilis group from the Rio Juruena and upper Rio Paraguai basins in Brazil, with an updated diagnosis and biogeographical comments on the group (Teleostei: Cichlidae)". Zootaxa. 4377(3):361–386. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4377.3.3 (crc08403) (abstract)
A new species of Lake Malawi mbuna cichlid: Metriaclima koningsi, previously known provisionally as Metriaclima sp. 'membe deep', has been described by Jay Stauffer in the Journal Zootaxa. The new species, named after Ad Konings, is described from Likoma and Maingano islands in Lake Malaŵi. The species is distinguished from other congeners, except Metriaclima usisyae by the absence of conspicuous bars along its flank and the presence of a dark sub-marginal band in the dorsal fin. Males of M. usisyae have gold colored flanks, while males of M. koningsi have blue flanks.
Stauffer, Jay Richard Jr.. 2018. "Description of Metriaclima koningsi, a new species (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Malawi, Africa". Zootaxa. 4370(1):095–100. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4370.1.8 (crc08365) (abstract)
A new species of Gymnogeophagus: G. taroba in the Gymnogeophagus rhabdotus group of species has been described by Jorge Cassiota, Adriana Almirón, Lubomir Piálek and Oldřich Říčan. The new species is established as different from the other species in the Gymnogeophagus rhabdotus group (G. terrapurpura, G. rhabdotus, G. meridionalis, G. setequedas and G. che) by the pigmentation of the dorsal fin, which lacks dorsal fin markings in the spiny section, plus some other combination of color marking differences. A new G. setequedas group is also proposed to G. setequedas, G. che and the new species. The new species is endemic to the lower río Iguazú basin above the Iguazú falls in Argentina and it is separated from the two other species in its group by the largest of the Cataratas del Iguazú waterfalls, with a height of 72 m.
Casciotta, Jorge & A. Almirón, L. Piálek, O. Rícan. 2017. "Gymnogeophagus taroba (Teleostei: cichlidae), a new species from the Río Iguazú basin, Misiones, Argentina". Historia Natural - Tercera Serie. 7(2):5-22 (crc08360) (abstract)
Hemibates koningsi, a new species of deep water cichlid from Lake Tanganyika has been described by Frederic Schedel & Ulrich Schliewen in the journal Zootaxa. The new species is only known from Zambian waters, where it inhabits deep oxygenated areas syntopically with H. stenosoma. It was first identified by Ad Konings who declare it a possible phenotypic variation of H. stenosoma in 1998. It was later in 2007 that Mark Smith has postulated it as a potentially undescribed species, which he named Hemibates sp ‘stenosoma zambia’. It has now been scientifically proposed as a new species and named after Ad Konings “in appreciation of the inspiration to many cichlidophiles that arose from his continued popular and scientific contributions”. The new species is easily differentiated from H. stenosoma among other traits by possessing a larger adult size, having a more elongated and oblique snout, and a color pattern with vertical barring in the middle of the body, whereas in H. stenosoma, there are large random spots.
Schedel, Frederic D. B & U.K. Schliewen. 2017. "Hemibates koningsi spec. nov: a new deep-water cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika". Zootaxa. 4312(1):92-112. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4312.1.4 (crc08220) (abstract)
A geographical variant of Labeotropheus fuelleborni from Mumbo and Thumb West islands in Lake Malawi has been proposed as a new species by Michael Pauers in the journal Copeia with the name Labeotropheus artatorostris. The new species is diagnosed from L. fuelleborni from the type locality (some 269.5 km from Mumbo Island) by some morphological differences, namely a shorter snout pad (7.43–14.2% of head length versus 14.9–17.2%), and some other small differences. The name artatorostris refers from Latin to the short snout pad that is characteristic of this species.
Eight authors seniored by Uwe Römer have authored the recently published description of Apistogramma megastoma in the journal Vertebrate Zoology. The new species was previously known as Apistogramma sp. 'kelleri' or Apistogramma sp. 'diamante' and was discovered by Johan Egberts in a small tributary of the Peruvian Amazonian near Leticia, Peru, country to which the new species is endemic as far as it is currently known. The specific name megasema is Greek for “big mouth”, a trait which enables it to perform mouth-brooding behavior and swallow relatively large prey. The new Apistogramma is the second mouth-brooding Apistogramma (after A. barlowi) that keep the larvae inside their mouths almost constantly during their development to the free-swimming stage, with the exception that in the new species it is almost exclusively the female who performs this behavior.
Römer, Uwe & C.I Römer, G. Estivals, A.V. Díaz, F. Duponchelle, C.R. García Dávila, I. Hahn, J-F Renno. 2017. "Description of a new maternal larvophilic mouth-brooding cichlid species, Apistogramma megastoma sp. n. (Teleostei: Perciformes: Geophaginae), from Loreto, Peru". Vertebrate Zoology. 67(2):1-20 (crc08122) (abstract)
A new species of Thorichthys has been described in the journal Revista peruana de biología: 24(n. 1), pp. 3-10. The new species, endemic to the Coatzacoalcos river drainage in Mexico, has been known for many years as Cichlasoma (Thorichthys) "helleri" (Artigas Azas 1991, who first recognized the species as new), Thorichthys sp. 'Coatzacoalcos' (Stawikowski et al, 1998) and later as Thorichthys sp. ‘mixteco’ in several publications. This species is diagnosed by the authors from the rest of the Thorichthys species by a set of meristic characters (that actually don’t difference it from them) and by the presence of a “black blotch on the dorsal fin of the females between the sixth and seventh spine” (which actually T. helleri also has in some populations). The specific name chosen for the species, panchovillai, is to honor the Mexican revolution prominent figure José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (Pancho Villa). Why such a beautiful fish was named after a notorious murdered and thief that in a power struggle was partially responsible of the killing of 20% of Mexican population at the beginning of the 20th century, and never put a foot on the land of this beautiful species, is mysterious at least.
del Moral Flores, Luis Fernando & E. López-Segovia, T. Hernández-Arellano. 2017. "Descripción de Thorichthys panchovillai sp. n., una nueva especie de cíclido (Actinopterygii: Cichlidae) de la cuenca del Río Coatzacoalcos, México". Revista peruana de biología. 24(1):3-10 (crc08118) (abstract)