Origin of the Superflock of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa

  title={Origin of the Superflock of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa},
  author={Erik Verheyen and Walter Salzburger and Jos Snoeks and Axel Meyer},
  pages={325 - 329}
Lake Victoria harbors a unique species-rich flock of more than 500 endemic haplochromine cichlid fishes. The origin, age, and mechanism of diversification of this extraordinary radiation are still debated. Geological evidence suggests that the lake dried out completely about 14,700 years ago. On the basis of phylogenetic analyses of almost 300 DNA sequences of the mitochondrial control region of East African cichlids, we find that the Lake Victoria cichlid flock is derived from the geologically… 

Response to Comment on "Origin of the Superflock of Cichlid Fishes from Lake Victoria, East Africa"

A haplotype analysis shows that the most recent desiccation of Lake Victoria did not lead to a complete extinction of its endemic cichlid fauna and that the major lineage diversification took place about 100,000 years ago.

Evolutionary biology: Ghost of speciation past

Lurking in the rivers of Botswana are the remnants of a diverse flock of cichlid fishes, whose origins can be traced to a lake that vanished more than 2,000 years ago, a window of ecological opportunity that has helped to shape continental biodiversity.

Geographical ancestry of Lake Malawi's cichlid fish diversity

It is proposed that ancestors of the Malawi radiation became isolated within the catchment during Pliocene rifting that formed both Lake Malawi and the Kipengere/Livingstone mountain range, before colonizing rivers to the south and east of the lake region and radiating within the lake basin.

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.

Parallel life history evolution in mouthbrooding cichlids from the African Great Lakes

It is shown that cichlid lineages colonizing rocky shores and pelagic habitats in the different lakes have independently evolved larger eggs and lower fecundities than benthic lineages, suggesting parallel adaptive life-history evolution.

Ancient origin and recent divergence of a haplochromine cichlid lineage from isolated water bodies in the East African Rift system.

Cycles of extinction and colonization in the unstable habitat provided by the small lakes and rivers in this geologically highly active area are suggested in connection with a total lack of local genetic diversity attributable to population bottlenecks.

Pleistocene desiccation in East Africa bottlenecked but did not extirpate the adaptive radiation of Lake Victoria haplochromine cichlid fishes

This study studied the population history of the Lake Victoria region superflock (LVRS) of haplochromine cichlids based on nuclear genetic analysis of populations from Lake Kivu, Lake Victoria, and the connected and surrounding rivers and lakes to suggest dramatic desiccation of this lake ca.

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.

A multi-marker perspective on the evolutionary history of East African cichlid fishes

This thesis generated a new phylogeny of the haplochromines, thus providing a solid basis for the assumptions of the trait emergence and consequently the experiments, and developed a broad range of primers and applied next generation sequencing methods, resulting in the most comprehensive sequence-based multi-marker set for Lake Tanganyikan cichlids so far.

Where ichthyofaunal provinces meet: the fish fauna of the Lake Edward system, East Africa.

An annotated species list of the Lake Edward, East Africa, drainage system shows that most of the non-Haplochromis species in the area sampled during the recent expeditions are covered, but undetected species might still be present in the Congolese part of the system, which is poorly sampled.



Monophyletic origin of Lake Victoria cichlid fishes suggested by mitochondrial DNA sequences

This work sequenced up to 803 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from 14 representative Victorian species and 23 additional African species to study the 'flock' of cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria.

On the age and origin of the species flock of haplochromine cichlid fishes of Lake Victoria

  • G. Fryer
  • Geology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
The suggestion that Lake Victoria dried out completely in the Late Pleistocene, was dry for several thousand years, and refilled ca.

The origin and age of haplochromine fishes in Lake Victoria, East Africa

According to a widely held view, the more than 300 species of haplochromine cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria (LV), East Africa, originated from a single founder species in less than 12 000 years. This

Phylogeny of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid species flock and its relationship to the Central and East African haplochromine cichlid fish faunas.

These findings contradict the current hypothesis that ancestral riverine haplochromines colonized Lake Tanganyika to give rise to at least part of its spectacular endemic cichlid species assemblage and instead contradict the early phases of the Tanganyikan radiation, which affected Central and East African rivers and lakes.

Phylogenetic investigations on the haplochromine Cichlidae of Lake Kivu (East Africa), based on lepidological characters*

The phylogeny of the haplochromine cichlids of Lake Kivu was studied using lepidological characters. Only one species, Haplochromis astatodon was found to have a closer relationship to a group

Late Pleistocene Desiccation of Lake Victoria and Rapid Evolution of Cichlid Fishes

Seismic reflection profiles and piston cores show that the lake not only was at a low stand but dried up completely during the Late Pleistocene, before 12,400 carbon-14 years before the present, implying that the rate of speciation of cichlid fish in this tropical lake has been extremely rapid.

Mitochondrial phylogeny of the Lamprologini, the major substrate spawning lineage of cichild fishes from Lake Tanganyika in eastern Africa.

Comparisons of sequence divergences of the control region indicate that the Lamprologini may be older than the endemic Tanganyikan tribe Ectodini, and short basal branches might suggest a rapid formation of lineages at an early stage of the Tanganyika radiation.

Biological implications of a suggested Late Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria

  • G. Fryer
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
If, as recently suggested, Lake Victoria dried up completely in theLate Pleistocene and refilled c 12,400 BP, not only must therate of speciation of its flock of cichlid fishes have been

Patterns in fish radiation are compatible with Pleistocene desiccation of Lake Victoria and 14 600 year history for its cichlid species flock

  • O. Seehausen
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2002
The composition of the fish assemblage does not provide biological evidence against Pleistocene desiccation, and a hypothesis of recent colonization from outside the lake basin rather than survival of a diverse assemblages within the basin is supported.