Two new cave-dwelling cichlids of Lake Malâwci, Africa

Rachel M. Cleaver, Adrianus F. Konings, Jay R. Stauffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Six different populations of the Lake Malaŵi cave-dweller Otopharynx lithobates, each of them distinguished by differences in the male breeding coloration, were examined. We found that morphometric and meristic data of all populations overlap, and that no significant differences could be found to distinguish them. Morphological data of Otopharynx walteri were completely within the range of O. lithobates and we regard them as conspecific. Two other cave-dwelling cichlids are described: Otopharynx spelaeotes, new species, and Otopharynx antron, new species. No geographical variation in the males' breeding colors of these species was observed. Otopharynx antron is described from a 20 km stretch of the eastern shore of the lake. It is sympatric with O. spelaeotes, but seems to have a more predatory feeding regime. Stigmatochromis modestus, another cave-dwelling species, and Stigmato-chromis pleurospilus are compared to the three cave-dwelling members of Otopharynx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages16
JournalIchthyological Exploration of Freshwaters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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