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Tanganyika snailfish (Lamprologus ocellatus)

Tanganyika snailfish ( Lamprologus ocellatus )

without rank: Perch relatives (Percomorphaceae)
Order : Cichliformes
Family : Cichlids (Cichlidae)
Subfamily : Pseudocrenilabrinae
Tribe : Lamprologini
Scientific name
Poll , 1986

The Lamprologini are a tribe of the cichlids (Cichlidae). The vast majority of the almost 100 species of Lamprologini live endemically in Lake Tanganyika and have colonized a wide variety of ecological niches there, but above all rocky habitats. They make up about 40% of the cichlid species there. Nine species of the genus Lamprologus live in the Congo river basin , Neolamprologus devosi in Malagarasi . Unlike the majority of East African cichlids, they are not mouthbrooders, but substrate breeders and lay their eggs in caves and in crevices.


The Lamprologini are a very variable cichlid tribe. In most cases the body is more or less elongated and of a brownish, yellowish, black or bluish color, sometimes a combination of several of these colors. Black or dark are usually vertical or horizontal stripes, the unpaired fins and the lower eye area are bluish. The scales are comb scales . In a longitudinal row on the sides of the body (from the rear edge of the gill cover to the caudal fin) there are 33 to 85 scales. The scales on the chest are usually smaller. They can also be absent there. The sideline is usually split in two. The teeth are conical, four to eight enlarged fangs are often visible even when the mouth is closed. The dorsal fin has 17 to 25 spine rays, the anal fin three to ten. In contrast to the often brightly colored mouthbrooders from Lake Malawi and Lake Victoria, the lamprologini are in most cases more plainly colored and males and females do not show any dichromatism, ie they have the same coloration.


Eight genera currently belong to the tribe Lamprologini:

Most of these genera, however, are not closed communities of descent and for various reasons are para- or polyphyletic . The small Julidochromis species are more closely related to Chalinochromis than to the large Julidochromis species and the large Julidochromis species are more closely related to Neolamprologus walteri than to the small Julidochromis species. The genus Julidochromis is therefore polyphyletic, the genus Chalinochromis is therefore paraphyletic. The characteristic phenotype of the genus Julidochromis probably arose twice in the course of a convergent evolution . Other non-monophyletic genera are Lamprologus, Neolamprologus and Telmatochromis .

Internal system

Based on a comparison of the mitochondrial DNA , twelve clades were identified, some of which can be further divided into subclades. They could become separate genres in the future and are listed below. The listing of some species in two different clades is likely due to hybridizations .

External system

Sister group of the Lamprologini is the tribe Ectodini ; the cichlids of this group live endemically in Lake Tanganyika, but not in rocky habitats, but on and over sandy soils. The Ectodini species are mouthbrooders .


  • Christian Sturmbauer, Walter Salzburger, Nina Duftner, Robert Schelly, Stephan Koblmüller: Evolutionary history of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini (Teleostei: Perciformes) derived from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (2010) 266-284, doi: 10.1016 / j.ympev.2010.06.018

Individual evidence

  1. Sturmbauer et al. (2010), page 266.
  2. ^ A b Julia Day, Simona Santini, Jaime Garcia Moreno: Phylogenetic relationships of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini: The story from mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45 (2): 629-42 December 2007  DOI: 10.1016 / j.ympev.2007.02.025
  3. ^ Mark Smith: Lake Tanganyika Cichlids. Page 10, Barron's Educational Series, 1998, ISBN 0764106155 Google Books
  4. Sturmbauer et al. (2010), page 267.
  5. Sturmbauer et al. (2010), page 276.
  6. Sturmbauer et al. (2010), page 269.

Web links

Commons : Lamprologini  - collection of images, videos and audio files