The taxonomic diversity of the cichlid fish fauna of ancient Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

Ronco, Fabrizia and Büscher, Heinz H. and Indermaur, Adrian and Salzburger, Walter. (2020) The taxonomic diversity of the cichlid fish fauna of ancient Lake Tanganyika, East Africa. Journal of Great Lakes research, 46 (5). pp. 1067-1078.

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Ancient Lake Tanganyika in East Africa houses the world's ecologically and morphologically most diverse assemblage of cichlid fishes, and the third most species-rich after lakes Malawi and Victoria. Despite long-lasting scientific interest in the cichlid species flocks of the East African Great Lakes, for example in the context of adaptive radiation and explosive diversification, their taxonomy and systematics are only partially explored; and many cichlid species still await their formal description. Here, we provide a current inventory of the cichlid fish fauna of Lake Tanganyika, providing a complete list of all valid 208 Tanganyikan cichlid species, and discuss the taxonomic status of more than 50 undescribed taxa on the basis of the available literature as well as our own observations and collections around the lake. This leads us to conclude that there are at least 241 cichlid species present in Lake Tanganyika, all but two are endemic to the basin. We finally summarize some of the major taxonomic challenges regarding Lake Tanganyika's cichlid fauna. The taxonomic inventory of the cichlid fauna of Lake Tanganyika presented here will facilitate future research on the taxonomy and systematics and the ecology and evolution of the species flock, as well as its conservation.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Biologie > Evolutionary Biology (Salzburger)
UniBasel Contributors:Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:05 Feb 2021 14:38
Deposited On:05 Feb 2021 14:38

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