Lamprologini Research

Bob Schelly's Lamprologini Research



Lamprologines, a model group for studying the evolution and speciation of African Great Lake cichlids, have been included in several recent molecular studies. However, these studies have used only one or two genes, and have included fewer than a third of lamprologine species, while neglecting the diversity of riverine cichlids in West and Central Africa. None have employed morphology. This study will thoroughly investigate lamprologine phylogenetics using both morphology and DNA sequences from several mitochondrial and nuclear genes, exhaustively sampling both Congo River and Lake Tanganyika lamprologines and diverse outgroups, including other lacustrine lineages and a complete sampling of riverine cichlids from West and Central Africa. By resolving the placement of lamprologines within the African cichlid radiation, this study will greatly improve knowledge of cichlid phylogeny. Within lamprologines, it will shed light on intriguing evolutionary questions, including the number and nature of transitions between rivers and lakes, the evolution of shell-dwelling and concomitant miniturization, and the extent of morphological convergence within the group.


Lepidiolamprologus phylogeny from Schelly et al (2005) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.