The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Note about Utaka classification

I will use the term "Utaka" in the sense that is firmly established in the scientific literature (Bertram, Borley, & Trewavas, 1942; Fryer, 1959a; Fryer & Iles, 1972; Iles, 1960; Eccles & Trewavas, 1989). All of the above authors included in the Utaka only species currently placed in either the genus Copadichromis or the newer, smaller genus Mchenga. It is likely that the species remaining in Copadichromis are probably still not a monophyletic unit, since it includes species with several different melanic color patterns. Probably, in order to be a natural (monophyletic) unit, this genus should be restricted to spotted species; the type species (C. quadrimaculatus) has three lateral spots. Ad Konings, in contrast, regards some species in the genus Nyassachromis (which have horizontal stripes) as being Utaka; in fact, he now considers these to be species of Copadichromis. However, I do not adopt that scheme, although I acknowledge that the biology of some Nyassachromis species does resemble somewhat that of true Utaka.




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