New Nanochromis cichlid named

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A new species of dwarf cichlid from West Africa has been named by scientists.

Nanochromis wickleri was found in Lake Mai Ndombe in the central Congo basin in West Africa and has just been named in the systematics journal Zootaxa.

The new cichlid, which is one of nine species in the Nanochromis genus, was described by Ulrich Schliewen of the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology and Melanie Stiassny of the American Museum of Natural History.

Nanochromis wickleri is quite striking among the dwarf cichlids in the genus as it has significantly more soft rays in the dorsal fin (10-11 rather than the usual 5-8 seen in other species) and adults develop membranous "fin lappets" that extend the length of the second and third dorsal fin spines.

Schliewen and Stiassny say that they have tentatively placed the species in the Nanochromis nudiceps group but stress that further work is needed to determine whether wickleri is a member of this morphologically diagnosable subclade of the genus.

Another species of Nanochromis, N. sabinae, was named in 2005 by Anton Lamboj following its collection in the Upper Congo River area and Northeast Gabon.

The Nanochromis are members of the chromidotilapiine group and all are found in West Africa, with five of the nine species known occuring in the rapids of the lower Congo.

For more details on the new species see the paper: Schliewen UK and MLJ Stiassny (2006) - A new species of Nanochromis (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Mai Ndombe, central Congo Basin, Democratic Republic of Congo. Zootaxa 1169: 33-46 (2006).

Nanochromis distribution mapsYou can view the distributions of some members of the Nanochromis genus using Practical Fishkeeping's Fish Mapper application.

Nanochromis consortus

Nanochromis dimidiatus

Nanochromis minor

Nanochromis nudiceps

Nanochromis parilus

Nanochromis splendens

Nanochromis squamiceps

Nanochromis transvestitus

Nanochromis sabinae