Lichnochromis acuticeps, photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver

A subadult individual of the monotypic genus and species Lichnochromis acuticeps collected by M. K. Oliver in 1971, only the third recorded specimen of this specialized crevice feeder. (Others have been found more recently, and occasional individuals have even been exported to the aquarium trade.)

Oliver suspects that L. acuticeps is the sister species of Mylochromis lateristriga (i.e., that the two shared a common ancestor not shared with any other species). In addition to having an oblique stripe as do many other species, these two both have long pointed heads with short jaws. If Oliver is correct, M. lateristriga and perhaps other species of Mylochromis should be transferred to Lichnochromis. A similar problem exists with respect to nearly all of the other monotypic or small genera in the "Hap" flock. Scroll down for photos of the holotype of L. acuticeps, 125 mm total length (BMNH 1935.6.14: 2283, from Deep Bay): entire fish, and head with mouth closed and opened. All photos copyright © by M. K. Oliver.

Lichnochromis acuticeps, holotype, photo copyright © by M. K. Oliver

Lichnochromis acuticeps, holotype, mouth closeups,
photos copyright © by M. K. Oliver


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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 13 June 1998
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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