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Just below the surface, the pelagic haplochromine cichlids from the Lake Edward system

By Vranken, Nathan, M. van Steenberge, M. Mbalassa, J. Snoeks

Hydrobiologia, epub 18-May-2023. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-023-05246-y


" The East African Great Lakes are inhabited by impressive radiations of cichlids that display a large variation in morphology, diet, colour pattern, and behaviour and have adapted to a large array of niches. Whilst most of these cichlids are bottom dwellers, a number of species have adapted to a pelagic environment and inhabit open waters. From the Lake Edward system, one pelagic species had been previously described, the zooplanktivorous Haplochromis pappenheimi. Our sampling revealed the Lake Edward system to be inhabited by two more pelagic species that were unknown to science and are formally described here, the zooplanktivorous Haplochromis pelagicus sp. nov. and the insectivorous H. aureus sp. nov. All three species seem mostly restricted to deepwater regions where the depth exceeds six metres in Lake Edward, except for H. pelagicus sp. nov., which also occurs in shallower regions of Lakes Edward and George and of the Kazinga Channel. Sexual dimorphism, mainly in head shape, was discovered in H. pappenheimi and H. pelagicus sp. nov. These differences suggest that females of these species have larger buccal cavities than males, which is most likely linked to female mouth brooding behaviour "

Classification: Taxonomy and phylogeny, Africa.

Language: English

Name substitutions

Vranken, Nathan & M. van Steenberge, M. Mbalassa, J. Snoeks. 2023. "Just below the surface, the pelagic haplochromine cichlids from the Lake Edward system". Hydrobiologia. epub. DOI: 10.1007/s10750-023-05246-y (crc12229) (abstract)