Chromaphyosemion melinoeides, Sonnenberg, Rainer, 2007

Sonnenberg, Rainer, 2007, Description of three new species of the genus Chromaphyosemion Radda, 1971 (Cyprinodontiformes: Nothobranchiidae) from the coastal plains of Cameroon with a preliminary review of the Chromaphy, Zootaxa 1591, pp. 1-38: 16-20

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.178554

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scientific name

Chromaphyosemion melinoeides

sp. nov.

Chromaphyosemion melinoeides  sp. nov.

( Figs. 12–14View FIGURE 12View FIGURE 13View FIGURE 14)

Chromaphyosemion  sp. 0 6, Legros et al. 2005: 16 (collection locality, coloration), Sonnenberg 2000: 81, 87 (color pattern, distribution).

Aphyosemion aff. lugens, Huber 1998 b: 58  (biogeography), Vlaaming 1998: 72 (pictures, collection locality) Aphyosemion (Chromaphyosemion) cf. lugens, Agnèse et al. 2006  (phylogeny, collection localities, taxonomy), Legros & Zentz 2007: 20 –21 (phylogeny).

Holotype. ZFMK 40000, male (25.1 mm SL), Cameroon, on the road from Kribi to Ebolowa, the first stream crossing the road after the village Akok in direction Ebolowa (02° 47 ' 30.4 '' N, 10 ° 17 '00.0'' E), U. Kämpf, R. Sonnenberg and A. Tränkner leg., collection locality CMM 36. Left pectoral fin taken for DNA, sample RS 1004.

Paratypes. ZFMK 39987–39988 (1 male, 1 female), paratopotypes, collected with holotype.

ZFMK 39989–39997 (2 males, 6 females, 2 juveniles), Cameroon, at the road from Kribi to Ebolowa, near the village Fenda (02° 49 '02.7'' N, 10 ° 22 ' 50.6 '' E), U. Kämpf, R. Sonnenberg and A. Tränkner leg., collection locality CMM 38.

ZFMK 39998–39999 (2 males), Cameroon, on the road from Kribi to Ebolowa, the small creek Mintang near the village Fenda (02° 49 '36.0'' N, 10 ° 22 '39.0'' E), W. Eberl, U.Kämpf, A. Kliesch leg., collection locality KEK 98 / 10.

ZFMK 40001–40003 (1 male, 2 females), Cameroon, a small creek crossing the road from Kribi to Ebolowa, near the village Njabilobé, no GPS data, W. Eberl, U.Kämpf, A. Kliesch leg., collection locality KEK 98 / 9.

ZFMK 40004 (1 male), Cameroon, on the road from Kribi to Ebolowa, east of Akok (02° 47 ' 56.2 '' N, 10 ° 18 ' 55.3 '' E), U. Kämpf, R. Sonnenberg and A. Tränkner leg., collection locality CMM 37.

CENAREST, Batoke, Cameroon (1 male), collection locality KEK 98 / 10.

CENAREST, Batoke, Cameroon (1 female), collection locality CMM 38.

Diagnosis. Chromaphyosemion melinoeides  differs from all other species, except C. lugens  and C. bivittatum  , by male and female color pattern. It is distinguished from its closest relative, C. lugens  , by the orange color on throat and belly, orange on basal half of anal and dorsal fins and orange fin streamer on dorsal fin in males and orange in ventral part of caudal fin in females; the anterior or complete dorsal fin orange, orange hue on flanks of females versus a pale grey to dark color on throat, mostly bluish to greenish on middle part of anal and basal part of dorsal fins, with whitish or yellow fin streamer and yellowish-green to greenish dorsal fin and pale brown to whitish flanks and absence of orange in caudal fin in females; it is distinguished from the very similar C. bivittatum  by dots and streaks on caudal fin versus only red dots on caudal fin and the absence of red dot or vertical bar on posterior end of caudal peduncle, which is an apomorphy for C. bivittatum  .

Description. See Figures 12–14View FIGURE 12View FIGURE 13View FIGURE 14 for general appearance and Table 4 for morphometric data of the type series and for general description under C. koungueense  . First ray of dorsal fin in front of origin of anal fin or above first to third anal fin ray. Dorsal fin with 11–13 rays; anal fin with 13–15 rays. Pectoral fins extending over origin of pelvic fins, pelvic fins not or nearly reaching anal fin. Pectoral fin rays dorsally longer than ventrally.

TABLE 4. Morphometrics of Chromaphyosemion melinoeides  sp. nov.. All measurements in percents of standard length (SL), except standard length in mm. For abbreviations see Table 2.

Scales cycloid, body and head entirely scaled, except ventral surface of head. Frontal squamation of Gtype, scales on mid-longitudinal series 23–26 + 2–3 on caudal fin base. Transverse row of scales above pelvic fin 8–9, circum-peduncular scale row 12–14. Open frontal neuromast system with two separate grooves, preopercular neuromast system with 6 pores.

Coloration. Live specimens. Males ( Figs. 12–13View FIGURE 12View FIGURE 13). Back brownish, three rows of dorsolateral metallic copper to green-blue scales on sides, scale borders dark, with irregularly distributed red dots. On sides two parallel black stripes: upper from lower lip through center of eye straight to dorsal part of caudal peduncle, lower from throat under eye and extending to ventral part of caudal peduncle, both end at caudal fin base. As in all Chromaphyosemion  species black stripes can disappear depending on mood and social status of the individual. Sides pale beige, anterior with an orange hue and with some metallic bluish or greenish scales on posterior sides, orange on throat and ventral anterior part of sides. Belly greyish with orange hue to orange. Three rows of red dots extending from opercle, lower row splitting in two at end of opercle, all rows extending irregularly on sides to posterior end of caudal peduncle.

Anterior part of dorsal fin orange, posterior part with greenish hue, between fin rays large dark red dots irregularly distributed, often fusing to streaks on distal part, fin streamer orange. Anal fin orange or with additional greenish-bluish areas, with row of dark red dots basally, in some specimens additional red dots in second row or irregularly distributed on fin; above dark submarginal band often a blue, irregular band; marginal band very small and blue. Caudal fin upper and lower border light blue, center darker blue or blue-greenish, between fin rays red dots on anterior part followed by streaks on posterior part, lower submarginal an irregular red band. In most adult specimens orange fin streamers present. Pelvic fins similarly colored as anal fin, at base dark red followed by orange, a bluish-green part above submarginal dark red band and small blue marginal band. Pectoral fins hyaline with some dark pigmentation, ventral half of fin with small light blue marginal band.

Females ( Fig. 14View FIGURE 14). General color pattern similar to males, dorsally brown with some rows of metallic copper to greenish scales, on sides with two black stripes as in males, between stripes pale orange or light brown, three lines of red dots extending from opercule, lower splits at posterior part of opercle into two lines, as in males; ventrally whitish-grey. Dorsal fin orange anteriorly, posterior part greenish, dark red dots or streaks between fin rays. Posterior border of fin with irregular dark dots forming dark band followed posteriorly by small blue band. Anal fin with basal dark line, bluish-green color, dark submarginal and small blue marginal band. Caudal fin hyaline, with sometimes blue and red dots on anterior part and orange on lower margin. Pelvic fin color as in anal fin, pectoral fins hyaline with bluish ventral marginal band.

Preserved in ethanol. Males. Back and sides brown, both lateral stripes dark brown, belly light brown to whitish. Scales on back and sides with dark brown border forming reticulated pattern. Border of opercle ventral of lower stripe dark, lips whitish to beige. Unpaired and pelvic fins hyaline greyish with dark pigmentation on fin rays, dark margin on unpaired and pelvic fins, the dark red patterns of the live color pattern on unpaired fins dark brown. Pectoral fins hyaline.

Females. Similar to males and juveniles. Body brownish, scales on back with dark border, belly beige to whitish. Fins hyaline greyish, dark brown dots on unpaired fins, less on anal; dark margins on fins. Lower bor- der of caudal fin whitish.

Etymology. The species is named after the conspicuous orange color on the throat, belly and fins. Derived from the Greek word melinoeides  , meaning orange-colored.

Distribution and habitat. Chromaphyosemion melinoeides  is known from several collection localities along the road from Kribi to Ebolowa between the villages Akok and Akom II and on the road from Akom II to Bipindi (see Map 1). Here it was found in places close to collection localities of C. loennbergii  and in one case both species were found in sympatry (locality KEK 98 / 12, W. Eberl, U. Kämpf & A. Kliesch, pers. comm.). From current knowledge, in the west, north and east it is replaced by C. loennbergii  , the situation in the south is currently unknown. At present, it seems that all of the collection localities belong to the Kienke river system.

The type locality is a small creek, about 1.5 m wide and 0.5 m deep, crossing the road. The bottom of the river consists of sand and gravel with leaves and submersed wood, shaded by the forest. The water temperature was 25.9 °C, air temperature 31.3 °C, pH 6.5 and conductivity between 10 – 20 µS/cm. ' Aphyosemion' ahli was also found at the type locality.


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


Culture Collection of Phytopathogenic Fungi (Colecao de Culturas de Fungos Fitopatogenicos Prof. Maria Menezes)


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport






Chromaphyosemion melinoeides

Sonnenberg, Rainer 2007


Legros 2005: 16
Sonnenberg 2000: 81

Aphyosemion aff. lugens

Legros 2007: 20
Huber 1998: 58
Vlaaming 1998: 72