New Lake Turkana Chrysichthys described

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A new Chrysichthys catfish endemic to Lake Turkana in Kenya has been described by ichthyologist Michael Hardman in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

The new species is named Chrysichthys turkana after the lake, and can be distinguished from congeners by the number of gill rakers on the first gill arch, the shapes of the tooth plates, mouth and postcleithral process, as well as measurements about the eye.

According to the author, "Chrysichthys turkana is demersal during the day, being locally abundant between 10 and 25 m depth zones, but migrates closer to shore at dusk to feed on chironomid larvae and ostracods.

"A mean daily temperature of almost 30C (19.5"39.9C) coupled with strong prevailing winds from the southeast evaporate approximately 2300 mm yr-1 and help to maintain alkaline (pH=9.2) and moderately saline (2.5) conditions throughout the lake."

For more information, see the paper: Hardman, M (2008) A new species of Chrysichthys (Siluriformes: Claroteidae) from Lake Turkana, Kenya. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 157, pp. 25"36.