Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 835946, 11 pages
Research Article

Low Genetic and Morphometric Intraspecific Divergence in Peripheral Copadichromis Populations (Perciformes: Cichlidae) in the Lake Malawi Basin

1Interdisciplinary Research Centre, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Campus Kortrijk, Etienne Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk, Belgium
2KATHO, HIVB, Wilgenstraat 32, 8800 Roeselare, Belgium
3Laboratory of Animal Biodiversity and Systematics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Charles Deberiotstraat 32, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
4Vertebrate Department, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
5Zoology Department, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Leuvensesteenweg 13, 3080 Tervuren, Belgium

Received 13 November 2010; Accepted 7 March 2011

Academic Editor: Martin J. Genner

Copyright © 2011 Dieter Anseeuw et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Peripheral isolated populations may undergo rapid divergence from the main population due to various factors such as a bottleneck or a founder effect followed by genetic drift or local selection pressures. Recent populations of two economically important Copadichromis species in Lake Malombe, a satellite lake of Lake Malawi, were neither genetically nor morphometrically distinct from their source populations in the main lake. Evidence was found for a founder effect which had a different impact on the genetic composition of the two species. In addition, the increased fishing pressure in Lake Malombe may have led to a reduction of the body sizes of both species.