Two new species of Amphilophus cichlid described

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Two new species in the Midas cichlid (Amphilophus citrinellus) species complex have been described by ichthyologists Matthias Geiger, Jeffrey McCrary and Jay Stauffer.

The two species, named Amphilophus supercilius and A. globosus, are part of an endemic species flock of Amphilophus cichlids found in Lake Apoyo in Nicaragua.

Amphilophus supercilius can be distinguished from congeners by its rounded, oval-shaped caudal fin. It additionally differs from other members of the species group in Lake Apoyo by a combination of a dark green or black head, dark violet breast and throat, yellow pectoral-fin rays, and a combination of morphometric measurements.

The authors found the species to be a generalist in diet, with fish remains, fish eggs, molluscs and algae found in the stomach.  The species name comes from the Latin word for 'eyebrow', in reference to the skull morphology that gives this species the appearance of eyebrows and a frowning appearance.

Amphilophus globosus is distinguished from congeners in Lake Apoyo by its rounded, conspicuous bright yellow or greenish colour, and the absence of clear and continuous dark bars in non-breeding coloration.  It is additionally distinguished by a combination of morphometric measurements.

According to the authors, this species (named after its rounded body, after the Latin word for round) did not appear to eat molluscs, unlike the other Lake Apoyo congeners.

The descriptions are published in the most recent issue of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.
For more information, see the paper: Geiger, MF, JK McCrary and JR Stauffer, Jr (2010) Description of two new species of the Midas cichlid complex (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from Lake Apoyo, Nicaragua. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 123, pp. 159–173.