The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

McKaye, K.R., and C. Mackenzie. 1982. Cyrtocara liemi, a previously undescribed paedophagous cichlid fish (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, Africa. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 95 (2): 398-402.  

A new Lake Malawi paedophagous cichlid, Cyrtocara liemi, is described. Cyrtocara liemi is probably most closely related to C. orthognathus. The ecology and behavior of C. liemi is discussed briefly.

[Additional notes, extracted by M.K. Oliver:] C. liemi and C. orthognathus [both of which are now classified in the genus Caprichromis] can be easily distinguished by the profile of the head, particularly gape inclination, which in C. liemi is 40-60° (mean=43.4) but in C. orthognathus is 60-80° (mean=66.6), and the premaxillary pedicel inclination, which ranges from 20-30° (mean=23.7) in C. liemi and 0-10° (mean=1.1) in C. orthognathus. The species is not common, but occurs in the Cape Maclear (Nankumba Peninsula) region of Lake Malawi as well as in Nkhata Bay. It was caught and observed by SCUBA divers only in areas where brooding cichlid females congregated. C. liemi acquires eggs, embryos, and fry from the mouths of mouthbrooding cichlids. It attacks the females from 0.5 m to 2 m below and hits them in the hyoid region of the head. The only items found in their stomachs were eggs, embryos and larval cichlids. A more detailed description of their ecology is found in McKaye & Kocher (1983).




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