Diversity of the lampeye fishes

Identifying the diversity of the southern Africa lampeye fishes (Lacustricola)

The current research on the southern African lampeye fishes is an extension of previous research carried with the family Procatopodidae during Dr Pedro Bragança (SAIAB Postdoctoral Researcher)’s PhD studies. In this research Dr Bragança reveals for the first time ever, the evolutionary history and relationships between the species of this African endemic fish group. The southern African lampeye fish belongs to the genus ‘Lacustricola’ and is distributed mainly over the savannah environments of southern Africa, where most of its diversification occurred during the Plio-Pleistocene. As a savannah dwelling species, the lampeye fish is known from the heavily vegetated margins of small rivers, brooks, and streams. When examining the collected specimens housed at the NRF-SAIAB Collection Facility, an unexpected diversity was identified and a need to describe the new species was clear. This high diversity contrasted with the historical knowledge that southern Africa freshwater fish diversity is poor, and most species are broadly distributed. READ MORE