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Revision of Species From the "Haplochromis" Empodisma Group

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

The endemic haplochromine cichlids from Lake Victoria are estimated to comprise 200 to 250 species. This estimate is mainly based on collections from two opposite ends of the Lake, i.e. the area around Jinja (Uganda) in the north and the area around Mwanza (Tanzania) in the south. An ecological and taxonomic survey of the haplochromines from the Mwanza area was recently started by the Haplochromis Ecology Survey Team (HEST). The collection of HEST contains several species groups of which the members closely resemble each other as well as their congeners known from the northern part of the Lake. One such case, the "H." empodisma group, has been analysed in this paper. The study was focussed on two new colour forms of this group, which were discovered in the Mwanza area, and on two previously described species, "H." empodisma and "H." obtusidens, which closely resemble them. It is demonstrated that the two species plus the two colour forms can be distinguished from each other on the basis of (small) morphological differences (other than male colouration). The two Mwanza forms are described as new species. The species rank is corroborated by ecological data.

Affiliations: 1: Haplochromis Ecology Survey Team, Mwanza, Tanzania; 2: Division of Systematics & Evo-lutionary Biology and Morphology Department, Zoologisch Laboratorium, University of Leiden, The Netherlands


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