Review of the lake malaŵi genus melanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) with a description of a new species

Adrianus F. Konings, Jay R. Stauffer

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8 Scopus citations


The Lake Malaŵi genus Melanochromis included five species at its inception and was originally distinguished from Pseudotropheus on the basis of morphology, including the arrangement of teeth on the lower pharyngeal bone. The diagnosis has been extended twice, first to include all elongate mbuna that possess horizontal stripes and U-shaped tooth bands and later to exclude mbuna that do not exhibit a sex-related reversal in their colour pattern. Recently, the diagnosis of the genus was refined on the basis of the melanin pattern. The genus now includes only species with a basic melanin pattern, which consists of two black horizontal lateral stripes on a light background. Most adult members of the genus, thus defined, have a sex-related reversal of pigmentation pattern. Here we describe Melanochromis mpoto n. sp. from the northwestern part of Lake Malawi, synonymize M. parallelus Burgess & Axelrod 1976 with M. loriae Johnson 1975, redescribe M. chipokae Johnson 1975 and M. robustus Johnson 1985, and reclassify and designate a lectotype for M. brevis Trewavas, 1935.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
Issue number3258
StatePublished - Apr 5 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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