The morphology of 24 endemic cichlid species from Lake Malawi was studied with scanning
electron microscopy. Several structures possibly of value for taxonomic and evolutionary
studies were discovered. Six types of scale shapes and three types of interradial denticles
were detected. The spiny area in the exposed part of the scale varied from nonexistent to
148 degrees wide. Several regenerated scales with large focus and short radii were found.
Various scale characters, which may prove valuable for phylogenetic purposes, are described
and their use in phylogeny construction tested.