Melanie L.J. Stiassny, S. Elizabeth Alter
American Museum Novitates 2015 (3831), 1-18, (21 April 2015) https://doi.org/10.1206/3831.1
KEYWORDS: Afrotropics, riverine biodiversity, molecular systematics, taxonomy
The lower Congo River and nearby habitats harbor numerous endemic lineages of cichlid fishes, including some with highly specialized morphologies. Based on morphological and molecular data, we herein describe a new species of Teleogramma, a member of the chromidotilapiine clade found on rocky outcrops in the lower reaches of the middle Congo River. The new species, T. obamaorum, is distinguished from congeners by numerous morphological and ecological attributes, including the lack of dorsoventral head and body depression, absence of sexual dichromatism, and features of laterosensory anatomy, pharyngeal and gut morphology, and dietary preference. Phylogenetic analyses of two nuclear and two mitochondrial loci using Bayesian and maximum-likelihood inference lend strong support for the taxonomic validity of T. obamaorum and provide preliminary estimates of species relationships within the genus. The discovery of a new, ecomorphologically distinctive cichlid species in the Congo River suggests that additional research focus on riverine clades has the potential to greatly contribute to our understanding of evolutionary dynamics in this hyperdiverse group of teleost fishes.