Publication details

African lates perches (Teleostei, Latidae, Lates): Paraphyly of Nile perch and recent colonization of Lake Tanganyika


KOBLMÜLLER Stephan SCHÖGGL Christian A. LORBER Clemens J. VAN STEENBERGE Maarten KMENTOVÁ Nikol VANHOVE Maarten Pieterjan ZANGL Lukas

Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Africa; Divergence time estimation; Freshwater fish; Multilocus phylogeny; Radiation
Description Lates perches of the genus Lates (Latidae) are large piscivorous fishes, with a strikingly disjunct distribution range in coastal areas and estuaries of the Indo-Pacific region and in some large African freshwater systems. Previous phylogenetic hypotheses based on osteological and ontogenetic data suggested paraphyly of the African representatives, or even the small Lake Tanganyika species assemblage, with respect to the remaining Lates species. Based on a multilocus phylogeny, however, we show that extant African lates perches are monophyletic. The Nile perch, L. niloticus, which is widely distributed in the Nilo-Sudan region and Central Africa, comprises three distinct lineages and is paraphyletic with respect to the four endemic Lake Tanganyika species. We find that diversification of extant African Lates happened only as recently as the Pliocene. With the extensive, in part much older fossil record, this suggests repeated extinction and (re-)colonization of hydrological systems. We further find that Lates started to diversify in Lake Tanganyika only in the Pleistocene, which is much more recent than other fish radiations endemic to Lake Tanganyika, implying that they radiated in the presence of other top predators already in this ecosystem.
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