Astatotilapia calliptera (Günther, 1894), photographed in Malawi by M. K. Oliver. For a close-up of the anal fin, scroll down. This species has often been considered to resemble the ancestral condition for the endemic Lake Malawi cichlids, or even to be their actual ancestor (see discussion in Oliver, 1984). It cannot be their ancestor (even apart from the logical impossibility of an ancestral species persisting after it speciates), nor their sister group, because it and its riverine congeners have specializations of the squamation (types and distribution of scales) that are lacking in the Malawi endemics but shared with the Lakes Victoria Edward Kivu flock and suggesting that they are the sister group of that flock (see Lippitsch, 1993). This species has sometimes been known as Haplochromis callipterus. Photographs copyright © 1997 by M. K. Oliver.
|Last Update: 18 November 2000
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997-2014 by M. K. Oliver - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED