The biology of four haplochromine species of Lake Kivu (Zaire) with evolutionary implications

Losseau-Hoebeke, Michéle (1992) The biology of four haplochromine species of Lake Kivu (Zaire) with evolutionary implications. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Four species were selected within the littoral of Tshegera Island, and include H. astatodon, H. olivaceus, H. crebridens and H. paucidens. These species, identified on basis of the SMRS, express their individuality most strongly with respect to dentition, breeding colours, normal habitat and preferred breeding territory. All four species are maternal mouthbrooders. This reproductive strategy is characterized by complete division of labour and polygamy. Breeding males compete for optimal territories and ready to spawn females. They are characterized by fast growth, large size and overall low condition factor. Females invest in few but large yolked ova and go through a fasting period while incubating the eggs. Females are generally characterized by slower growth, smaller size and higher condition factor when compared to males. In females the energy turnover during gonadal development and subsequent mouthbrooding is high, but the energy expenditure low. Mean fecundity varies between 25 and 36 eggs per brood and mean egg size between 2.6 and 2.7 mm. The right ovary, although small, is functional. Breeding of variable intensity goes on throughout the year. The main dry season corresponds to synchronized breeding. During the other months of the year species breed asynchronously. Both types of breeding are related to food availability for adults and offspring. The major breeding peak which starts in July coincides to improved body condition in both sexes. In similarity with the East African flocks, the Lake Kivu haplochromines display subdivision within the major trophic groups and invasion of the major lacustrine habitats. They are nevertheless morphologically and ecologically generalized. They tend to be plesiomorphic with low diversification within each trophic group, have a lake wide distribution (eurytopic) and incline to be altricial within their specialized reproductive guild. The evolutionary status of the Lake Kivu haplochromines may be explained by survival of members of an ancestral fauna in an isolated bay during the Recent volcanic events which destroyed life in the Main Basin. The Lake Kivu flock, therefore, is a relict and is believed not to have evolved within the confines of the present-day lake.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:H. astatodon, H. olivaceus, H. crebridens, H. paucidens, Reproduction, Breeding, Males, Females, Lake Kivu, East Africa, Haplochromines, Cichlids, Evolution
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Fishes
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Ichthyology & Fisheries Science
Supervisors:Ribbink, Tony
ID Code:4212
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:10 Dec 2012 12:04
Last Modified:10 Dec 2012 12:04
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