The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Synopsis of Publication

Greenwood, P.H. 1983. On Macropleurodus, Chilotilapia (Teleostei, Cichlidae), and the interrelationships of African cichlid species flocks. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History), Zoology, 45 (4): 209-231.  

The monotypic cichlid genera Macropleurodus bicolor from Lake Victoria, and Chilotilapia rhoadesi from Lake Malawi share an outstandingly derived dentition of a kind not recorded in any other members of the family.

Since both taxa share, uniquely, such a derived character complex, it might be thought that they also share a recent common ancestry not shared with other members of the Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika [sic] cichlid species flocks. A detailed consideration of other anatomical and morphological features indicates that the dental similarity is a homoplastic feature. However, it seems probable that both taxa are members of a monophyletic lineage within the haplochromine cichlids, and that representatives of this lineage occur in Lakes Malawi, Victoria and Tanganyika.

The features previously used to establish the monophyly of the Lake Malawi haplochromine species are found to be unsuitable for that purpose. Other characters suggest on the contrary, that the species flocks of Lakes Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika are each composed of several distinct lineages, and that members of at least some lineages occur in more than one lake.




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