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Type: Article
Published: 2023-07-21
Page range: 515-530
Abstract views: 437
PDF downloaded: 21

A new species of Lethrinops (Cichliformes: Cichlidae) from a Lake Malawi satellite lake, believed to be extinct in the wild.

School of Natural Sciences; Bangor University; Bangor; Gwynedd LL57 2UW; United Kingdom & Vertebrates Division; Natural History Museum; Cromwell Road; London SW7; UK
School of Natural Sciences; Bangor University; Bangor; Gwynedd LL57 2UW; United Kingdom; present address: School of Biological & Environmental Sciences; Liverpool John Moores University; Liverpool; L3 3AF; UK
School of Biological Sciences; University of Bristol; Life Sciences Building; 24 Tyndall Avenue; Bristol; BS8 1TQ; United Kingdom
Acari African cichlid haplochromine Lake Chilingali morphology


A new species of cichlid fish, Lethrinops chilingali is described from specimens collected from Lake Chilingali, near Nkhotakota, Malawi. It is assigned to the genus Lethrinops based on the form of the lower jaw dental arcade and by the absence of traits diagnostic of the phenotypically similar Ctenopharynx, Taeniolethrinops and Tramitichromis. It also lacks the enlarged cephalic lateral line canal pores found in species of Alticorpus and Aulonocara. The presence of a broken horizontal stripe on the flanks of females and immature/non-territorial males of Lethrinops chilingali distinguishes them from all congeners, including Lethrinops lethrinus, in which the stripe is typically continuous. Lethrinops chilingali also has a relatively shorter snout, shorter lachrymal bone and less ventrally positioned mouth than Lethrinops lethrinus. It appears likely that Lethrinops chilingali is now extinct in the wild, as this narrow endemic species has not been positively recorded in the natural environment since 2009. Breeding populations remain in captivity.



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