, Volume 748, Issue 1, pp 39–60 | Cite as

Complex geographical variation patterns in Tropheus duboisi Marlier, 1959 (Perciformes, Cichlidae) from Lake Tanganyika

  • Maarten Van SteenbergeEmail author
  • Maarten P. M. Vanhove
  • Floris C. Breman
  • Jos Snoeks


Intra-specific morphological variation in the cichlid Tropheus duboisi from 10 localities over its entire known distribution area along the central eastern and northern shore of Lake Tanganyika was investigated. This revealed significant differences between various populations that are geographically isolated. These morphological observations only partially correspond to the results of a haplotype network, based on mtDNA. In addition, a difference in the timing of the onset of the adult colour pattern was discovered for one isolated population. The occurrence of morphological intra-specific differentiation is discussed with respect to the basal position of T. duboisi within Tropheus as well as to the presumed morphological stasis of the genus.


Morphological differentiation Morphological stasis Shape analysis Colour pattern Mitochondrial DNA 



We would like to thank C. Gillardin, J.A.M. Raeymaekers, D. Muzumani Risasi, T. Mulimbwa N’sibula, F. Muterezi Bukinga, V. Nshombo Muderhwa, J. Mbirize Ndalozibwa, A. Avenant-Oldewage, A. Pariselle and S. Risch for assistance during sampling, S. Loix for assistance in the lab, F. Van den Broeck for software support and T. Musschoot for creating the map. We would also like to thank M. Parrent, M. Schreyen (Fishes of Burundi), G. Ntakimazi (Université du Burundi), Ad Konings and H. Büscher (University of Basel) for their help in preparing this manuscript. MVS is a PhD fellow of the Research Foundation—Flanders (FWO—Vlaanderen). Fieldwork was partly funded by a travel grant from the King Leopold III Fund for Nature Conservation and Exploration.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maarten Van Steenberge
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maarten P. M. Vanhove
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Floris C. Breman
    • 4
  • Jos Snoeks
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Vertebrates Section, IchthyologyRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biodiversity and Evolutionary GenomicsKU LeuvenLouvainBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of ScienceMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Joint Experimental Molecular UnitRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium

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