Population structure of two closely related pelagic cichlids in Lake Victoria, Haplochromis pyrrhocephalus and H. laparogramma

Kaoru Maeda, Miyuki Takeda, Koichi Kamiya, Mitsuto Aibara, Semvua Isa Mzighani, Mutsumi Nishida, Shinji Mizoiri, Tetsu Sato, Yohey Terai, Norihiro Okada, Hidenori Tachida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Cichlid fishes in Lake Victoria show spectacular diversification that is thought to be recent. Therefore, by investigating those fishes, we may be able to elucidate recently completed or ongoing speciation processes. We studied the population structures of two closely related pelagic cichlid species, Haplochromis pyrrhocephalus and H. laparogramma, using a mitochondrial DNA locus and 12 nuclear microsatellite loci as putative neutral markers. Ten and two populations of H. pyrrhocephalus and H. laparogramma, respectively, were sampled from the southern part of Lake Victoria. We grouped those 12 populations into four mutually differentiated regional populations, one of which consisted of the two H. laparogramma populations. The levels of differentiation were substantial at the mitochondrial locus (FST = 0.03-0.54), but very low at microsatellite loci (RST = 0.008-0.116). The data from both types of loci indicated that the regional population of H. laparogramma was first separated from those of H. pyrrhocephalus if we set aside one erratic population of H. pyrrhocephalus. The data also suggested recent population expansions of the two species, the time scales for which were estimated to be on the order of 104-105 years. These data suggested that dynamic speciation processes accompanied occasional spawning of new species and population size changes in this lake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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