The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Summary of Publication

Snoeks, J. 2000. How well known is the ichthyodiversity of the ancient African lakes? Pp. 17-38 in Rossiter, A., and H. Kawanabe, eds. Ancient lakes: Biodiversity, ecology and evolution. Advances in Ecological Research, volume 31. Academic Press, London.  

A review, based on personal experience of problems in systematic research on the fishes of the East African Lakes, is given. A characteristic feature of most of these lakes is the high number of endemic cichlid species that they contain. It is estimated that for the three biggest lakes, Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi/Nyasa, about 1000 species or more are still awaiting scientific description. General and lake-specific taxonomic and phylogenetic problems are discussed. The need for better collaboration on various levels between morphologists and molecular biologists is stressed. Some extrapolations to and suggestions for the future are made.




free hit counters