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Morphological and genetic distinctness of rock and shell‐bed dwelling Telmatochromis(Teleostei, Cichlidae) in the south of Lake Tanganyika suggest the existence of two species

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Two populations from Wonzye and Nkumbula Island, Lake Tanganyika, containing both rock and shell‐bed dwelling individuals of the genus Telmatochromis were analysed by means of comparative morphological and DNA haplotype data from the mitochondrial control region. The data on individuals from rock v. shell‐bed habitats allowed a clear discrimination to be made between habitats, while there was no distinction among individuals of the same habitat from Wonzye and Nkumbula. The shell‐bed dwellers had small body size, including smaller size at sexual maturity and fewer eggs than rock dwellers. The existence of two distinct species that diversified according to habitat choice is suggested.

Keywords: Lake Tanganyika; Telmatochromis; morphology; mtDNA control region; rock dweller; shell‐bed dweller

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: Lake Biwa Museum, 1091 Oroshimo, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-0001, Japan

Publication date: August 1, 2004


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