By: Mark HJ Nelissen(Author)
74 pages, 13 b/w illustrations, 5 b/w maps, 4 tables
The species (and subspecies) of the genera Simochromis, Pseudosimochromis and Tropheus, as well as Haplochromis burtoni, are studied biometrically. The methodology of the biometric study is described. The reliability of the measurements is tested. All studied taxa are described by means of the most common ratios in cichlid studies and by means of some characters that are typical for the Simochromis - Pseudosimochromis - Tropheus - group. When it was possible, significant differences that can express sexual dimorphism were given. The discussion about the taxonomic status of T. annectens is reopened, because the arguments to consider this name as a synonym of T. moorii are no longer valid. A profound, mathematical comparison of the studied taxa is performed, with the aid of canonical analyses. In this way, the differences between the taxa are shown, and hence the taxonomic validity of the forms is proved. A phylogenetic relationship of the species can be schematized as follows: S. diagramma + S. marginatus - S. babaulti // P. curvifrons // T. moorii + T. brichardi - T. duboisi. It is possible that P. curvifrons is a phylogenetic link between a Haplochromis-like ancestor and the genera Simochromis and Tropheus. Specimens of the studied taxa can be identified using the canonical analyses or with the aid of an identification key.
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