New Nothobranchius from Mozambique


A new species of nothobranchiid killifish has been described from northeastern Mozambique.

The description of the new species, named Nothobranchius hengstleri, by Stefano Valdesalici, is published in a recent issue of the journal Zootaxa.

Acording to the author, the new species appears to be ... closely related to Nothobranchius melanospilus, known from eastern Tanzania and southeastern Kenya and to another as-yet undescribed species (Nothobranchius cf. melanospilus) from a geographically contiguous area of southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique....

Nothobranchius hengstleri is a member of the N. melanospilus species group, which the author defines as: ...maximum observed body size (over 30 mm SL), a relatively elongate to moderately deep body (less than 35% of SL), variable cephalic squamation, pointed triangular head, dorsal profile gently convex from snout to end of dorsal-fin base, male coloration consisting of uniform red reticulation over blue scales and a dorsal fin with white to light blue rudimentary filamentous rays....

The new species, named after the collector of the type series (Holger Hengstler), can be distinguished from all other members of the genus chiefly by the male and female colour patterns, and by a more convex dorsal profile.

Male N. hengstleri differs from male N. melanospilus and male N. cf. melanospilus in having a deeper body, longer head; males and females of N. hengstleri have fewer scales in longitudinal series than either N. melanospilus or N. cf. melanospilus.

Nothobranchius hengstleri is only known from the type locality, a temporary pool in a small coastal plateau in northeastern Mozambique.

No aquatic vegetation was present in the pool, with only dry grass along the shore. The water was brown and turbid and the pH 7.5.

For more information, see the paper: Valdesalici, S (2007) A new species of the genus Nothobranchius (Cyprinodontiformes: Nothobranchiidae) from the coastal area of northeastern Mozambique. Zootaxa 1587, pp. 61"68.