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Aulonocara question


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Hi all...not really sure if this is in the right forum but here goes anyway;

I have recently been reading an old copy of "Tropical Fish Hobbyist"(dated June 1999) in which Ad Konings states,

"The A.stuatgranti found at the Tanzanian shore opposite of Usisya, at Honge Island, resembles the flavescent peacock in every detail."(pc 86)

BTW...flavescent peacock is the trade name for the usisya, as stated by Ad in the same article on pg79.

Can anyone tell me if this statement has been corrected or changed in any literature published since the release of this publication??

Has anyone been in contact with, or can anyone give me his email add so I can, Ad to ask him about this exact resemblance?

In the October 2004 edition of the Cichlid News there is an article by Martin Geerts(with pic's by Ad Konings) that shows some difference between the 2 locations(represented by 1 pic each tho, hence the question).

I have seen the usisya peacock in the flesh and they look to me exactly the same as the pic's of hongi island peacock, that I have seen. As the pic's of the hongi island have had my attention since first seeing them, I am keen to get the usisya in a tank...but I wanna clear everything up, to my satisfaction, first.

edit: spelling

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Here are three different sources of information on Hongi Is. and Usisya. Whilst size and location appears to be the only difference between the two.

Aulonocara stuartgranti (Hongi Is.)

Aulonocara stuartgranti (Usisya)

Ad Konings chaired a meeting on the issue of Cichlid evolution. The basic thoughts were

Konings says: In 1992, during an expedition along the southern half of the Zairean shore of Lake Tanganyika, I found local variants of several species (eg. Ophthalmotilapia ventralis, , Tropheus annectens) which I knew were very similar in coloration to those found on the opposite shore (in Tanzania). The interesting observation was that these geographical variants were restricted in their distribution and did not at all link up (via the southern shores in Zambia) with those on the opposite those on the opposite coast. In fact OTHER variants of the same species were found along the southern shore. Knowing that the lake level fluctuated during the evolution of the lake, it is very plausible to assume that those very similar forms, now isolated by a deep lake, once formed a single population and were subsequently separated by the rising water. The places where we still find these variants today are steep rocky coasts which at any lake level are able to provide suitable habitat to those species. The newly accessible habitat (because of the rising water) in the south of the lake became gradually inhabited by wandering individuals from the old mother population.

Konings says: A similar thing happened in lake Malawi where we find several species and geographical variants of species on opposite coasts of the lake (eg Pseudotropheus sp. "tropheops red fin", Aulonocara stuartgranti "Usisya", Labeotropheus trewavasae "Lion's Cove", Ps. fainzilberi), and also these do not form continuous populations. So also in Lake Malawi it looks like there are species which are older than others and with every increase in lake level these species gave and will give rise to new ones.

The rest of the discussion can be found here.

Cichlids as a Model of Evolution

So it seems that they have evolved into different species due to geographical isolation. I hope this helps.


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Thanx Ged.

I can't get the first 2 links to work for me but you have confirmed what I had suspected...and what Ad says about the size difference between the 2 species. However Ad puts the size difference down to an abundance of food in the Usisya region and goes on to say this is noticable in other genera in the area.

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No Merjo,

I haven't seen Preston to ask him since I found this article...but I will definately ask him.

You are right in saying that he has little faith in the naming of the species by anything other than location, he also has concerns about the relocated species and the impact that their movement has/may cause...but I will ensure that I ask.

Published authers do hold weight, specially when they publish articles in print-media rather than on the web...and I just wanted to see, knowing the many changes peacocks have been subjected to over the years, if there is any other reference material out there that has pushed for a change in the views expressed by Ad Konings(as expressed in the article mentioned above).

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