Neolamprologus buescheri
(Staeck 1983)



After original description.

(Replace L. and Lamprologus by N. and Neolamprologus)

Lamprologus buescheri n. sp. from Zambian part of lake Tanganyika

(Pisces: Cichlidae).


Wolfgang Staeck



      Abstract : An undescribed species of the genus Lamprologus was found in lake Tanganyika in a depht of 18 m. The most important features of L. buescheri n. sp. are its moderate size, its slender, elongate body, its deeply forked caudal fin and the specific colouration.

      To date, the African cichlid genus Lamprologus Schilthuis 1891 comprises 49 species and subspecies. Fife of them have been recorded for the Zaïre river system. All the other species are endemic to lake Tanganyika. The new fish described in the present paper was discovered in August 1982 in the Zambian part of lake Tanganyika when Büscher (Pratteln/Switzerland) made several dives with scuba gear to explore the habitats along the south western coastline of the lake.
      Although a total of three specimens were collected, only one of them forms the basis of the folowing description as remaining two were kept alive for ethological studies. The colouration and the morphometric features of this newly discovered cichlid fish appear sufficiently distinct from the previously described taxa to warrant the etablishment of new species.

lamprologus buescheri n. sp.

      Holotype (measurements in mm) : ... TL 69.3, SL 54.5 ; Cape Kachese, Lake Tanganyika, approx. 08°29'S - 30°27'E, leg. H. Büscher, VIII.1982.

      Etymology : The fish is named in honour of Heinz H. Büscher, first collector of this species in lake Tanganyika.

      Diagnosis : Lamprologus buescheri n. sp. is a small, elongate bodied species (maximum depth of body 4·36 time in the standard length). The combination of its moderate size, its lunate caudal fin and its whitish body coloration, which is patterned with two black horizontal stripes, one dorsal, one midlateral distinguishes it from all the other lamprologus species. Adult specimens probably do not exceed a TL of 80 or 90 mm.

      Description : Head and body elongate, slender and slightly compressed laterally. Depth of body 22·94%, length of head 34·68% of SL.
      Snout acute, 37·84%, interorbital width 19·58% of the length of head. Diameter of eye 23·81% of the length of head and 64·29% of the snout.
      Mouth relatively wide. Bucal teeth very small, conical and slightly curved. Teeth of outer row larger, with 4 or 5 canines of the front of both upper and lower jaw. Inner teeth villiformes, arranged in a dense band behind the outer row.
      Dorsal XVIII/9, total number of rays 27,. Soft rays longer than spines. First spine very short — Anal VI/7, total number of rays 13. Soft rays longer than spines. First spinevery short. Soft dorsal and anal with filamentous extensions. — Ventrals extented into filaments, passing the urogenital papilla, almost reaching the origin of anal. — Caudal lunate with upper and lower lobes produced into long filaments. Depth of caudal peduncle 60·6% of its length.
      Scales ctenoid, 35 (36) in a longitudinal series. lateral lines not perfectly continuous. Upper lateral line with 10 (12), lower 26 (25) scales. Circumpeduncular scales 18. Scales on nape, chest and the anterior part of the back very small. Pre-operculum without scales.
      Thirteen short gill-rakers, 9 on the lower part of the anterior arch.

      As for the time being there has been available only one preserved specimen of this species, it was not thought advisable to make an examination of the internal characteristics.

      Colouration : Body colour of the live fish whitish, with two black horizontal stripes on each side of the body, one dorsal, along the base of the dosal fin, the other midlateral, from the end of snout to the base of caudal fin. Dorsal stripe with a row of three or four white spots just below the base og the dorsal fin. Both upper and lower half of iris edged with yellow. Pectoral transparent. Other fins dusky gray. Dorsal with conspicuous broad black submarginal longitudinal band. Similar bands in the anal and caudal both the upper and lower half of caudal less conspicuous. Pelvics, dorsal, anal and caudal with narrow brigth blue margin ... No obvious sexual dimorphisme or dichromatism apparent ...

      In preserved specimens the colour tends to become brownish, but the distinct black margin remain.

      Distribution : Endemic to lake Tanganyika where it is kinown only from the type locality, Cape Kachese in Zambia.

      Habitat : Field observations with scuba gear (Büscher 1983) proved that L. buescheri n. sp. only occurs among rocks and stones in the littoralregion of the lake ... The fish seldom strays more than a few centimeters from the substratum, but always moves in close contact with the rocks with the rocks and immediately withdraws into crevices when disturbed. It was only found at depths between 16 - 18 meters. In its habitat buescheri co-exists with Lamprologus pucher Trewavas & Poll 1952, L. savoryi Poll 1949, Julidochromis regani Poll 1942 and Telmatochromis vittatus Boulenger 1898. L. buescheri is a strictly territorial species, wich for the most part is distributed in single individuals over its habitat.

      Reproductive behaviour : L. buescheri is a typical cave spawner with firm pair-bonding. Reproduction has been observed in an aquarium where the ♀ laid about 20 eggs, wich were deposited on the roof of an inverted coconut shell. Both sexes take part in the defense of the territory, but only the ♀ guarded the eggs and the fry in the cave. At a temperature of 27°C the eggs hatched after 48 hours. Within about 8 days from the hatching the absorption of the yolk was complete and the fry swam independently.

      Affinities : In general appearance Lamprologus buescheri closely resembles L. fasciatus Boulenger 1898, but its moderate size, its lunate caudal fin and its colouration distinguish it clearly from that species. In addition to the above characters it differs from fasciatus by its fewer anal rays (buescheri VI/7 vs. fasciatus X/7) and its fewer gill-rakers on the lower part of anterior arch (9 vs. 11-12).
      L. buescheri is a small elongate bodied species, similar in facies to L. leleupi Poll 1956, L.l. melas Matthes 1959 and L.l. longior Steack 1979. L. leleupi  and L.l. longior differ from buescheri in having a bright yellow or orange body coloration. L.l. melas differs in its overall blackish coloration. Additionally leleupi and its subspecies differ from buescheri in dorsal spines (leleupi XX-XXI vs. buescheri XVIII) and fewer scales in lateral series (33-34 vs. 35-36). Finally their caudal fin is rounded as opposed to lunate in buescheri.
      In Poll's key (1978: 748f), L. buescheri emerges close to L. brichardi Poll 1974 and L. pulcher Trewavas & Poll 1952, wich resemble the new species in having a moderate size, a lunate caudal fin, about the same number of scales in lateral series and a similar number of gill-rakers on the lower part of the anterior arch. L. buescheri however, has a more slender body (buescheri: depth of body 4
·36 vs. pulcher and brichardi 2·9-3·7) and a completely differrent colouration.
      On account of its forked caudal fin in it seems natural to compare L. buescheri with L. furcifer Boulenger 1898 and L. christyi Trewavas & Poll 1952. L. furcifer has 40-54 scales in a longitudinal series, 20 dorsal spines and 11-14 gill-rakers on the lower part of the inferior arch. L. christyi attains a length of about 137 mm and differs from buescheri in almost every other respect.


      Büscher, H.H. (1983): Der Spinel-Barsch, eine neue Cichlidenart aus Tanganjikasee.— Das Aquarium, 17 (8): in print ; Minden.
      Poll, M.(1956): poissons Cichlidae.— Résultats scientifiques, exploration hydrobiologique du lac Tanganika, 3 (5B): 1-616 ; Bruxelles.
——(1978): Contribution à la connaissance du genre Lamprologus Schth. Description de quatre espèces nouvelles, réhabilitation de Lamprologus mondabu et synopsis remanié des espèces du lac Tanganyika.— Bull. Acad. r. Belgique, Classe Sci., (5)64 (11): 725-758 ; Bruxelles.
      Staeck, W. (1983): Cichliden, 3.—352 pp. ; Wuppertal (Engelberg pfriem).

Author: Dr. Wolfgang Staerck, Beymestr. 8, D-1000 Berlin 41.

Destination LAC TANGANYIKA/Estelle & Benoit//2001-2012.