Parananochromis Greenwood

Anton Lamboj & Melanie L. J. Stiassny, 2003, Three new Parananochromis species (Teleostei, Cichlidae) from Gabon and Cameroon, Central Africa., Zootaxa 209, pp. 1-19 : 16-17

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Parananochromis Greenwood


[[ Parananochromis Greenwood   ZBK ]]

Discussion. The combination of the possession of four openings of the sensory canal system in the lachrymal (versus 5), 12 circumpeduncular scales (versus 14-16), and a Haplochromis-type(versus a Tilapia-type) of neurocranial apophysis, characterizes the two genera, Parananochromis   ZBK and Nanochromis   ZBK . Greenwood (1987) considered the latter two features as derived within the chromidotilapiine lineage and therefore as evidence of a sistergroup relationship between the two genera. The distinction between Nanochromis   ZBK and most of the species currently included in Parananochromis   ZBK was discussed by Thys van den Audenaerde (1968), and later by Greenwood (1987) who diagnosed Nanochromis   ZBK on the basis of a number of derived features (e.g., two bones in the infraorbital series, at least the last 3 or 4 pored scales of the upper lateral line contiguous with dorsal fin base, and a low supraoccipital crest). However, no such diagnosis was presented for Parananochromis   ZBK , which remains uncharacterised by uniquely derived features and possibly therefore a paraphyletic assemblage. In the course of the present study we have found no evidence that could be used to support the monophyly of Parananochromis   ZBK . In fact two of the new taxa described herein ( P. brevirostris   ZBK and P. ornatus   ZBK ) display an elevation of the upper lateral line (albeit not to the extent found in Nanochromis   ZBK ), a reduction of infraorbital elements from five to four ( Nanochromis   ZBK has a single tubular element), and the possession of a low crest on the supraoccipital. In these features P. brevirostris   ZBK and P. ornatus   ZBK display a trend towards the derived Nanochromis   ZBK condition.

Final resolution of the phylogenetic status of the genus Parananochromis   ZBK (and indeed the other chromidotilapiine genera currently lacking phylogenetic diagnoses) must await a thoroughgoing phylogenetic analysis, a task that is beyond the scope of the current paper. For the time being, and as a pragmatic approach for the purposes of species description, we have assigned the three new species to Parananochromis   ZBK , while alerting readers to the possibility that generic reassignment may be necessary once a fuller understanding of the generic limits and relationships among chromidotilapiines is gained.