Thursday, November 16, 2017

[Ichthyology • 2017] Nothobranchius cooperi • A New Species of Annual Killifish (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes) from the Luapula River Drainage, northern Zambia


Nothobranchius cooperi 
 Nagy, Watters & Bellstedt, 2017


Abstract
Nothobranchius cooperi, Nagy, Watters and Bellstedt, new species, is described from seasonal streams and ephemeral pools associated with the upper Mansa River system in the middle Luapula drainage and systems draining into the low-lying area marginal to the southwestern part of Lake Bangweulu, in the Luapula province of northern Zambia. It belongs to the N. brieni species group. Males of Nothobranchius cooperi are distinguished from congeners by the following unique combination of characters: body scales with broad orange posterior margin, forming a highly irregular cross-barred pattern; anal fin fairly uniform orange-red with irregular to regular, light blue-green zone close to the base; caudal peduncle length 1.2–1.3 times its depth; prepelvic length 48.8–51.9% SL; and head depth 75–77% of head length. Genetic divergence of the mitochondrial COI and ND2 genes and nuclear S7 gene support the distinction of the new species from its closest known relative, N. rosenstocki and confirms its position in the N. brieni species group.

Keywords: Mansa River, mtDNA analyses, nDNA analyses, Nothobranchiidae, Nothobranchius rosenstocki, taxonomy


Figure 6: Nothobranchius cooperi, wild-caught male, not preserved. From the easternmost known location, about 11 km west of Samfya, in a drainage system flowing into the low-lying area marginal to the southwestern part of Lake Bangweulu.
Figure 8: Nothobranchius cooperi, wild-caught female, not preserved. Location: type locality, about 20 km east of the town of Mansa, upper Mansa River system Luapula Province, middle Luapula River drainage.

Figure 10: Type locality for Nothobranchius cooperi. ... the upper Mansa River system, Luapula Province, middle Luapula River drainage. Habitat comprised a densely vegetated seasonal stream and associated roadside ditches and pools within a broad shallow valley. Photograph taken 28 March, 1997.

Etymology: The specific epithet is given in honour of Barry J. Cooper, renowned collector and breeder of killifish, for his significant contributions to the field study of Nothobranchius and to the killifish hobby in general. A noun in genitive.


B. Nagy, B. R. Watters, P. D. W. van der Merwe, F. P. D. Cotterill and D. U. Bellstedt. 2017. 
Nothobranchius cooperi (Teleostei: Cyprinodontiformes): A New Species of Annual Killifish from the Luapula River Drainage, northern Zambia. African Journal of Aquatic Science. 42(3); 201-218.  DOI: 10.2989/16085914.2017.1372270   

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