DESCRIPTIONS OF FIVE NEW SPECIES IN THE GENUS METRIACLIMA (TELEOSTEI: CICHLIDAE) FROM LAKE MALAŴI, AFRICA

Open Access
Author:
Ciccotto, Patrick
Graduate Program:
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 29, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Jay Richard Stauffer Jr., Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • LAKE MALAŴI
  • SPECIES DESCRIPTIONS
  • METRIACLIMA
Abstract:
Lake Malaŵi supports an enormous diversity of cichlid species, many of which lack formal descriptions. Five new species of rock-dwelling cichlids from the lake are described. The moderately-sloped vomer, isognathous jaws, and presence of bicuspid teeth in the outer rows of the jaws, among a suite of other morphological characters, place these species in the genus Metriaclima. All five species are part of the M. aurora-species complex, based on the absence of a black band in the dorsal fin which is congruent with the ecologically similar species M. aurora (Burgess). Differences in morphology in conjunction with assortative mating distinguish these new species from each other and previously described species of the M. aurora-complex.