, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 299-308

Field study of Haplochromis burtoni: habitats and co-habitant

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This report describes the natural habitat of the cichlid fish Haplochromis burtoni along the Burundi coast of Lake Tanganyika in central Africa. Parameters of the physical environment as well as more general biological factors are described qualitatively and quantitatively. Temporary shore pools, a previously undescribed habitat, are examined in detail. These pools, appear to play an important role in the life cycle of Haplochromis burtoni and other mouthbrooding cichlids by providing, for a large part of each year, a protected area 0 which is particularly suited for reproduction, possibly at the cost of high predation. As a result of circaannual changes in the lake level, the shore pools are alternately isolated from and rejoined with the lake, allowing a regular exchange of fauna.