Kramer, Bernd and Van der Bank, F. Herman (2000) The southern churchill, Petrocephalus wesselsi, a new species of mormyrid from South Africa defined by electric organ discharges, genetics, and morphology. Environmental Biology of Fishes 59, pp. 393-413.
East African and south African churchills (Petrocephalus, Mormyridae) were synonymised in 1959 to become
members of a single species of subcontinental, southern African distribution, Petrocephalus catostoma (G¨unther,
1866). By comparison with the type material for P. catostoma from the Ruvuma River and P. stuhlmanni from
the Ruvu River, both of East African origin, we confirm the South African form of churchill to represent a new
species, P. wesselsi, ranging from the northern Limpopo and Incomati systems south to the Pongola River (Natal)
as its southern limit.We also compared churchills from the Sabie River (25 S, South Africa, Incomati system) with
churchills from the Upper Zambezi River (17 S, Namibia), using electric organ discharges (EODs) and morphology.
The duration of an EOD pulse of the South African form (N D 39; 943:2S:E: 18.82 s) is, on average, more than
twice that of the Upper Zambezi form (N D 37; 436:6 15:1 s), and the amplitude of the second head-positive
phase (P2 phase relative to P1 D 1) significantly weaker (0:133 0:0005 vs. 0:472 0:002 for Upper Zambezi
males, 0:363 0:03 for Upper Zambezi females). In contrast to the Upper Zambezi form, the EOD of the South
African form exhibits no difference between the sexes. Fish from the two origins differ significantly in 11 out of 14 anatomical characters studied, confirming molecular genetic differentiation on the species level.
|Institutions:||Biology, Preclinical Medicine > Institut für Zoologie > Verhaltensbiologie und Verhaltensphysiologie (Prof. Dr. Bernd Kramer)|
|Keywords:||Petrocephalus catostoma; allopatric speciation; Upper Zambezi; Limpopo; Incomati; Pongola; Mormyridae|
|Subjects:||500 Science > 570 Life sciences|
500 Science > 590 Zoological sciences
|Refereed:||Yes, this version has been refereed|
|Created at the University of Regensburg:||Partially|
|Deposited On:||30 Aug 2007|
|Last Modified:||20 Jul 2011 21:06|