Extreme microallopatric divergence in a cichlid species from Lake Malawi

  title={Extreme microallopatric divergence in a cichlid species from Lake Malawi},
  author={Ciro Rico and George F. Turner},
  journal={Molecular Ecology},
We demonstrate significant population structuring on an extremely small spatial scale between adjacent demes of a Lake Malawi haplochromine cichlid species of the mbuna group, Pseudotropheus callainos, separated by only 35 m of habitat discontinuity. This substantiates further the notion that intralacustrine allopatric divergence may help to explain the high level of species richness of the mbuna in comparison to other Malawian cichlids, as well as of the Malawian haplochromines as a whole. 

significance of allopatric colour variation Pseudotropheusof Lake Malawi cichlids of the genus

A phylogeographical examination of several allopatric populations of the Lake Malawi cichlid is undertaken, finding that the diversity of male coloration in these populations is remarkable.

Hybrid origin of a cichlid population in Lake Malawi: implications for genetic variation and species diversity

Genetic evidence of a natural hybrid cichlid population with a unique colour phenotype and elevated levels of genetic variation is provided and it is proposed that the role of hybridization in generating both genetic variability and species diversity of Lake Malawicichlids warrants further consideration.

No evidence for parallel sympatric speciation in cichlid species of the genus Pseudotropheus from north‐western Lake Malawi

If parallel speciation does occur in Malawi cichlids, it may be on a larger spatial scale than investigated in the study, and the topology of trees based on distance matrices was largely consistent with the hypothesis that the putative species are monophyletic and have thus not evolved in parallel in their present locations.

Resource‐based adaptive divergence in the freshwater fish Telmatherina from Lake Matano, Indonesia

All Telmatherina in this lake can be categorized into three lineages each possessing specialized skull shapes and pharyngeal jaw bones allowing them to exploit different resources, demonstrating a natural example of how resource partitioning has likely initiated adaptive radiation in a resource limited environment.

Subtle population structure and male-biased dispersal in two Copadichromis species (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from Lake Malawi, East Africa

It is suggested that aspects of the reproductive strategy, by which seasonal aggregation alternates with more free-ranging stages, may facilitate the establishment of small population differences in Utaka, which agrees with the finding that in these cichlids dispersal appears to be male biased.

Only true pelagics mix: comparative phylogeography of deepwater bathybatine cichlids from Lake Tanganyika

This work addresses the link between panmixis and pelagic habitat use by comparing the phylogeographic structure among four deepwater cichlid species of the tribe Bathybatini from Lake Tanganyika and shows that the mitochondrial genealogies of the four species are very shallow and that all species experienced recent population growth.

Beta diversity of rock‐restricted cichlid fishes in Lake Malawi: importance of environmental and spatial factors

Despite low spatial variance explained by the assessed environmental variables, significant environmental influence on cichlid assemblage structure across a wide spatial scale indicates that even slight future environmental changes may have the capacity to significantly alter species composition.

The mbuna cichlids of Lake Malawi: a model for rapid speciation and adaptive radiation

There is no good evidence for monophyly in the mbuna, rather mitochondrial DNA phylogenies indicate that they are polyphlyetic with respect to benthic feeding cichlids of the genera Aulonocara, Alticorpus and some species of Lethrinops, and sexual selection acting on male colour seems the most plausible mechanism for initial species divergence.

Phylogeography of Lake Malawi cichlids of the genus Pseudotropheus: significance of allopatric colour variation

Evidence that populations with red dorsal fins (RT) are not monophyletic is presented, implying that divergence in coloration may accompany speciation, and that allopatric populations with similar coloration cannot be assumed to be conspecific.

Genetic relationships of cichlid fishes from Lake Malawi based on mitochondrial DNA sequences

It was suggested that non-mbuna have attained much higher diversification than mbuna, which may partly be attributable to sexual selection strongly exerted in rocky habitats in contrast to strong ecological selection in sandy area.



Evidence for male‐biased dispersal in Lake Malawi cichlids from microsatellites

The results from both species indicate that spatially adjacent females have higher average relatedness values than those separated by larger distances, but that this pattern is reversed in males, providing firm evidence for male‐biased dispersal within the Malawian cichlid flock.

How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?

This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of new species and species flocks and critically appraises the relevant evidence on species richness from recent studies of polymorphism and assortative mating, generally using behavioural and molecular methods.

Unusually fine–scale genetic structuring found in rapidly speciating Malawi cichlid fishes

The results suggest that these fish populations are divided into thousands of subunits among which genetic divergence is currently occurring, and that this may provide unprecedented opportunities for allopatric speciation.

A preliminary survey of the cichlid fishes of rocky habitats in Lake Malawi

Most aquarium fishes exported from Lake Malawi are cichlids of 10 rock-frequenting genera collectively referred to by their Chitonga name, Mbuna. These fishes provide a classical example of

Homing and home-site fidelity in rock-dwelling cichlids (Pisces: Teleostei) of Lake Malawi, Africa

  • E. Hert
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental Biology of Fishes
  • 2004
SynopsisExistence of home site fidelity and homing ability was established for Pseudotropheus aurora. Territorial males stayed up to 1 1/2 years within the same territories. Females showed long-term

Assortative mating among rock‐dwelling cichlid fishes supports high estimates of species richness from Lake Malawi

All taxa showed high levels of allelic diversity providing evidence that genetic bottlenecking may have been of limited importance in the speciation process, and assortative mating among taxa differing only in male colouration is supportive of theories that speciation in these fishes has been driven by sexual selection by female choice.

Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary processes in East African cichlid fishes.

  • A. Meyer
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Trends in ecology & evolution
  • 1993


The cichlid fishes of the Great Lakes of Africa are the most spectacular examples ofspeciation and adaptive radiation within a single vertebrate family and the number of species in each rift valley lake is still unknown, as many undescribed species are being discovered in newly explored areas.

Biogeography and population genetics of the Lake Malawi cichlid Melanochromis auratus: habitat transience, philopatry and speciation

A biogeographic survey suggests that the highest levels of genetic differentiation exist between populations separated by stretches of deep water and that both selection and genetic drift may be important to the evolution of taxonomic diversity in the East African cichlid species flocks.

Population structure and colour variation of the cichlid fishes Labeotropheus fuelleborni Ahl along a recently formed archipelago of rocky habitat patches in southern Lake Malawi

Relative to shoreline populations, reduced levels of gene flow among populations inhabiting isolated, deep–water islands provides greater opportunities for drift, adaptation to local conditions, or sexual selection to effect genetic differentiation in this species.