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

  title={How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes?},
  author={George F. Turner and O. Seehausen and Mairi E. Knight and Christopher John Allender and Rosanna L. Robinson},
  journal={Molecular Ecology},
The endemic cichlid fishes of Lakes Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria are textbook examples of explosive speciation and adaptive radiation, and their study promises to yield important insights into these processes. Accurate estimates of species richness of lineages in these lakes, and elsewhere, will be a necessary prerequisite for a thorough comparative analysis of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing rates of diversification. This review presents recent findings on the discoveries of… 

The species flocks of East African cichlid fishes: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and population genetics

Recent molecular data on population differentiation and phylogenetics are reviewed, which have helped to unravel, to some extent, the patterns and processes that led to the formation and ecological maintenance of cichlid species flocks.

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

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The Adaptive Radiation of Cichlid Fish in Lake Tanganyika: A Morphological Perspective

In the present review, morphological studies that relate to the adaptive radiation of Lake Tanganyika's cichlids are summarized and highlight their importance for understanding the process of adaptive radiation.

Divergence and speciation of East African haplochromine cichlid fish

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The Lake Tanganyika cichlid species assemblage: recent advances in molecular phylogenetics

An account of the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species assemblage, its relationship to the African cichLid fauna, key factors leading to the astonishing diversity and recently proposed alternative age estimates are presented.

Axes of differentiation in the bower‐building cichlids of Lake Malawi

The phylogeny suggests that the forces of sexual and ecological selection are intertwined during the speciation of this group and that specific bower characteristics and trophic morphologies have evolved repeatedly, and that sand dweller species richness has been severely underestimated.

Convergence and plasticity in the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes

The demonstration of plasticity in the cichlids’ pharyngeal jaw suggests it as a factor to be considered in answering the question of why there are so many cichLid species, and the revealed abundance of ecomorphological convergence without geographical or chronological separation indeed seems to defy Gause’s principle.

Peripheral Isolate Speciation of a Lake Malawi Cichlid Fish from Shallow Muddy Habitats

This study adds to the evidence that rapid evolution of novel phenotypes in peripheral habitats can add to the diversity of lacustrine cichlids through the evolution of at least partial reproductive isolation in allopatry.

Evolution of Lake Malawi Cichlid Fishes (Perciformes: Teleostei)

This work reviews theoretical studies and empirical research on the cichlid faunas of Africa to provide a synthetic overview of current knowledge of the evolutionary processes at work in the Cichlidae.

Genetic Structure of Pelagic and Littoral Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria

The results suggest that initial groupings, some of which appear to have been related to habitat differences, as well as divergence between species within groups took place among the cichlid species of Lake Victoria.



Molecular systematics and radiation of the haplochromine cichlids (Teleostei: Perciformes) of Lake Malawi

The mbuna group is generally thought to be a monophyletic assemblage, but results suggest that it is actually paraphy­ letic, and in contrast to the high morphological diversity among Malawi haplochro­ mine species, mtDNA sequence divergence was found to be remarkably low.

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.

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

Sympatric speciation suggested by monophyly of crater lake cichlids

A mitochondrial DNA analysis of cichlid species flocks endemic to two such lakes in Cameroon suggests that the flocks in each lake are monophyletic: the implication being that each lake was colonized once only, the size and shape of each lake being such that subsequent diversification would have been sympatric.

Mitochondrial phylogeography of rock-dwelling cichlid fishes reveals evolutionary influence of historical lake level fluctuations of Lake Tanganyika, Africa.

The phylogeographic pattern of eretmodine cichlids suggests that major fluctuations in the level of the lake have been important in shaping their adaptive radiation and speciation, and the mitochondrially defined clades are in conflict with the current taxonomy of the group.

Evaluating Biodiversity and Conserving Lake Malawi’s Cichlid Fish Fauna

The results indicate that the genus level may be the appropriate taxonomic designation to consider for conservation purposes, and that areas of high generic endemism, such as the Muleri Islands, are significant for conservation.

Local adaptations in populations of rock–dwelling haplochromines (Pisces:Cichlidae) from southern Lake Victoria

It is investigated to what extent island populations of three species of the rock–dwelling genus Neochromis, endemic to Lake Victoria, are adapted anatomically to exploit locally abundant resources to find differences between two populations in the hyoid position and in the premaxilla that enhance suction feeding.

Genetic divergence, speciation and morphological stasis in a lineage of African cichlid fishes

A case of surprisingly large genetic divergence among populations of the endemic Tropheus lineage of Lake Tanganyika, a lineage of six species that contains twice as much genetic variation as the entire morphologically highly diverse cichlid assemblage of Lake Malawi and six times more variation than the Lake Victoria species flock.

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.