New Chrysichthys described from Lake Mai-Ndombe

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A new species of claroteid catfish endemic to Lake Mai-Ndombe (formerly Lake Albert) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been described.

The new species, named Chrysichthys praecox by ichthyologists Michael Hardman and Melanie Stiassny in the latest issue of Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, is a small, sexually dimorphic species distinguished from congeners by differences in the morphologies of the palatal toothplates, supraocipital process, jaws and postcleithral process, barbel length, colour and number of gill rakers on the first gill arch.

Adult males of this species have expanded cheek muscles, mouths, toothplates and rectal skin folds compared to females.

This species is named after the small size at which it matures (from the Latin praecox, meaning early ripening or precocious).

For more information, see the paper: Hardman, M and MLJ Stiassny (2008) A sexually dimorphic species of Chrysichthys (Siluriformes: Claroteidae) from Lac Mai-Ndombe, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters 19, pp. 175"184.