Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 980879, 7 pages
Research Article

Genetic and Morphological Evidence Implies Existence of Two Sympatric Species in Cyathopharynx furcifer (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika

Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwake, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan

Received 3 January 2012; Accepted 10 March 2012

Academic Editor: Stephan Koblmüller

Copyright © 2012 Tetsumi Takahashi and Michio Hori. 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.


Although the cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika are treated as a textbook example of adaptive radiation, many taxonomic problems remain unresolved. Cyathopharynx furcifer, which belongs to the currently monospecific genus Cyathopharynx, contains two colour morphs at the southern end of the lake: one has a yellow anal fin, and the other has a black anal fin. Some books for hobbyists of ornamental fish treat these morphs as different species, but taxonomic studies have neither mentioned the existence nor addressed the status of these colour morphs. In the present paper, we analysed these two colour morphs using mitochondrial, microsatellite, morphometric, and meristic data sets. Both molecular and morphological data allowed clear discrimination between these morphs, suggesting the existence of two distinct sympatric species. Three taxonomic species have been described in this genus, and only C. furcifer is currently considered valid. Observations of type specimens of these three nominal species will be needed to determine the scientific names of these colour morphs.