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The haplochromine cichlid fauna of the rivers and smaller lakes of Tanzania and SE Africa are of key importance in understanding the origins and inter-relationships of the great lake cichlid radiations of Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria. Prior to formal taxonomic investigations, here we present the results of investigations of the type specimens, identification of type localities and superficial characterisation of freshly-collected material. The type locality of Astatotilapia bloyeti (Sauvage, 1883) is identified as the Mkondowa River, near Kilosa. This species appears to be the only haplochromine found in the Wami system. It is concluded that junior synonyms of A. bloyeti include A. strigigena (Pfeffer, 1893), A. kilossana (Steindachner, 1915) and A. paludinosa Greenwood, 1980. Astatotilapia sparsidens (Hilgendorf, 1905) is closely related and may constitute a junior synonym or a sister taxon. The range of A. bloyeti includes the Pangani system. The type locality for Astatotilapia gigliolii (Pfeffer, 1896) is identified as the Kingani River, or southern Ruvu, where it appears to be the only haplochromine in the river system. Junior synonyms include Astatotilapia vollmeringi (Steindachner, 1915) from the Great Ruaha River at Kidatu and Astatotilapia tweddlei Jackson, 1985 from Lakes Chilwa and Chiuta. The species is also reported from the lower part of the Rufiji system, the Ruvuma system and from other lakes and rivers in between. A few specimens were also collected in and around a fish farm at Songea, in the upper reaches of the Ruhuhu system (Lake Malawi catchment). Apart from this record, the only Astatotilapia species in the Lake Malawi catchment is A. calliptera. Four undescribed Astatotilapia species are identified from the Rufiji system, while other possibly undescribed taxa from the basins of Lake Tanganyika and Rukwa are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages107
Publication statusPublished - 2021
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