Download Classic Publications on Lake Malawi Fishes

Haplochromis breviceps (Nyassachromis breviceps), drawing from Regan's (1922) classic paper
Recently, I have been thinking about some of the classic research papers that have advanced our knowledge of Lake Malawi's fishes. The journals in which they were published are not widely available outside of the libraries of major universities and natural history museums. Yet, there are more scientists actively working on aspects of the evolution, classification, ecology, and behavior of these fishes now than at any previous time. Some of these scientists live far from the nearest available reference copy of each article. Advanced aquarists, too, are taking an increasing interest in understanding the more technical literature about their fishes. Now that we are well into the 21st century, it seems appropriate to begin making these hard-to-obtain 20th century classics freely available for downloading. Hundreds of abstracts, and over 200 complete, more recent scientific publications, are also freely available for downloading from my Bibliography page.

As a first offering, here (below) is Ethelwynn Trewavas's classic 1935 paper, "A synopsis of the cichlid fishes of Lake Nyasa" (Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 10th series, volume 16, pages 65-118). This is, arguably, the single most fundamental contribution to the classification of these cichlids, containing an outline of her taxonomic philosophy and methods, and the original descriptions of nine new genera and 73 new species. Trewavas intended the synopsis only as a preliminary account. She wrote (pp. 66-67), "Full descriptions of all the species have been written, and figures of all the new ones have been prepared, and will be published when a monograph of the African Cichlidae has been completed." She never wrote such a monograph, and the descriptions and drawings (by M. Fasken) were not published until 54 years later, in Eccles & Trewavas (1989). She confided to me that she felt rather guilty about the long delay.

The Acrobat PDF file is made from a scarce original offprint of the paper, presented to me by Trewavas. Because the contrast between ink and paper is suboptimal and I had heavily annotated the offprint, I retouched a clean xerographic copy to remove most annotations and scanned this for the PDF.

Please read the following before downloading:

  1. This is a fairly large file - 2 Mb - and is thus a lengthy download on a dial-up connection.
  2. The 54-page file is composed of images of the pages; it now is word-searchable (thanks to the kindness of Toby White of Palaeos).
  3. The paper contains a few line drawings of anatomical details, but no photographs, and no illustrations of whole fish. The species descriptions are brief (often only a few words in a key), telegraphic, and technical. If you want to identify your aquarium fish, this paper will not help you!

  Download Trewavas (1935) (2.0 Mb, 54 pages)

(Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 for the above can be downloaded free)

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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 21 February 2005
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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