Six New Species of the Cichlid Genus Otopharynx from Lake Malaŵi (Teleostei: Cichlidae)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2018
Authors:M. K. Oliver
Journal:Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History
Date Published:10/2018
Keywords:Endemic species, Haplochromini, Lake Malaŵi Trawling Survey, Pseudocrenilabrinae

The endemic Lake Malaŵi cichlid genus Otopharynx is increased from 14 species to 20 by the
description of six new species collected from inshore sandy or intermediate rocky/sandy areas or
trawled in depths to 59 m. Otopharynx alpha is distinguished from congeners by its unique
melanin pattern with suprapectoral spot discrete but supraanal and precaudal spots connected to
form a stripe, and by its distinctively shaped pharyngeal bone with numerous small, crowded
teeth. Otopharynx mumboensis, thought to be endemic to Mumbo Island, is separated from most
congeners by a suprapectoral spot placed entirely below the upper lateral line, and from all others
by the combination of 13 gill rakers, pharyngeal bone with posterior margin nearly straight,
crowns of all pharyngeal teeth in the median columns broadened and flattened, head length
30.9–32.2% SL, body depth 35.5–36.1% SL, and lower jaw 35.7–36.2% HL. Otopharynx styrax has
a more elongate body (depth 24.3–28.6% SL) than any congener. Otopharynx aletes can be diagnosed
by the combination of a suprapectoral spot overlapping the upper lateral line, seven or eight
vertical bars below the dorsal-fin base, 10 or 11 gill rakers, 34–36 scales in the lateral line, lower
pharyngeal bone with molariform posteromedian teeth, and caudal peduncle length 1.6–2.0 times
its depth. Otopharynx panniculus is diagnosed by the combination of a prominent square
suprapectoral spot spanning subdorsal bars 3 to 4, no dorsal midline spots, 13–15 gill rakers,
31–33 scales in the lateral line, 15 or 16 dorsal-fin spines, absence of a lacrimal notch, and slightly
enlarged teeth in the median columns of the lower pharyngeal bone. Otopharynx peridodeka most
closely resembles O. panniculus and shares the loss of the lacrimal notch, but has 34–35 scales in
the lateral line and 11–13 gill rakers. Photographs of living or freshly collected specimens of five
of the new species are provided.

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