Since Loiselle‘s work on the genus Hemichromis
(the revision is from 1979; his last publication about it I am aware of is from 1992: „An annotated key to the genus Hemichromis
Peters, 1858“, Buntbarsche Bulletin 148), many new informations have increased our knowledge: New forms have been discovered and there are expanded data on life colors and intraspecific variability, some of which seem to bridge the defined boundaries between species (i.e. between H. guttatus
, H. letourneuxi
and H. paynei
, this does, however, not automatically mean, that the latter two are invalid), while others may lead to the separation of additional species (the Gabonese Jewelfish is clearly distinct from H. stellifer
from the Congo basin and is likely to be described as new in the forthcoming revision, H. elongatus
may also contain hitherto unrecognized new species).
Although some diagnostic features do not hold and the variability of life colors of several species has been underestimated by Loiselle (1979), and despite the fact, that some of the specimens figured alive by him (especially H. stellifer
, corrected in the 1992 work) are misidentified, it is injust to blame Loiselle for all the confusion in naming Hemichromis
species, especially since formally named and unnamed species alike are involved. Most of the chaos is generated subsequently by people, who did not carefully (or even not at all) consider his work when trying to identify these fish (often apparently under the motto „There are pictures, so why should I read the texts“), by importers, commercial breeders, traders and hobbyists who uncritically adopt the resulting misidentifications (mostly inadvertently, but there are also 'black sheep', who expect advantages from deliberately labeling a species as new or rare), and even by scientists who have improperly disregarded Loiselle‘s revision in continuing to name all the Red Jewelfishes Hemichromis bimaculatus
and all Banded or Five-spotted JewelfishesH. fasciatus
Loiselle's 1992 paper is available here:http://www.desertfishes.org/cuatroc/literature/pdf/Loiselle_1992_Hemichromis_key_OCR.pdf.
For a photo of the holotype of H. lifalili