oa Madoqua - An evaluation of morphometric and meristic characters frequently used in identification keys for fifteen cichlid fish species endemic to southern Africa

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-5498



Despite the wide environmental tolerances of various cichlid species, they show relatively little morphological diversity. However, due to their phenotypic plasticity, confusion in species identification occurs. Therefore, fifteen cichlid species were analysed by comparing selected meristic and morphometric characteristics to determine the value thereof in identification keys. The results show that although it was possible to identify some species by means of discriminant function analysis, the value of the individual characteristics in routine identification is extremely low due to vast overlapping distributians. It can be concluded that other or additional characters should be incorporated in identification keys.

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