From a pair to a dozen: the piscivorous species of Haplochromis (Cichlidae) from the Lake Edward system

  • Piscivory is a common trophic niche among cichlids of the East African Great Lakes, including Lakes Edward and George. From these two lakes, we examined the taxonomic diversity of cichlid species with a piscivorous morphology. Prior to this study, two piscivorous species were formally described, Haplochromis squamipinnis and H. mentatus. We redescribe both species and describe an additional ten new species of Haplochromis with a piscivorous morphology: H. latifrons sp. nov., H. rex sp. nov., H. simba sp. nov., H. glaucus sp. nov., H. aquila sp. nov., H. kimondo sp. nov., H. falcatus sp. nov., H. curvidens sp. nov., H. pardus sp. nov., and H. quasimodo sp. nov. All twelve species differ in dominant male colour pattern (unknown for H. latifrons sp. nov. and H. curvidens sp. nov.) and morphological traits. The species can be divided into two morphological groups: the macrodontic piscivores and the microdontic piscivores. This division potentially reflects an ecological differentiation in habitat use, hunting technique, prey species, and prey size. We conclude that some 12–20% of the species from the cichlid assemblage of Lake Edward have a piscivorous morphology.

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Author:Nathan Vranken, Maarten van Steenberge, Annelies Heylen, Eva Decru, Jos Snoeks
Parent Title (German):European journal of taxonomy
Series (Serial Number):European journal of taxonomy : EJT (815)
Publisher:Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Place of publication:Paris
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2022/04/21
Date of first Publication:2022/04/21
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/04/25
Tag:Adaptive radiation; Harpagochromis; Prognathochromis; haplochromines; new specie
Page Number:94
First Page:1
Last Page:94
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 59 Tiere (Zoologie) / 590 Tiere (Zoologie)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0