Remarks on Benthochromis species

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mshuangchao
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Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:07 am

I personally tend to agree with Takahashi in that B. horii is distinct from B. tricoti on a species level. Morphologically, according to Takahashi's measurements, both tricoti and melanoides have larger eyes (in proportion) than horii. B. horri has a longer snout length than the other species. B. tricoti and B. horii may have speciated through adaptation to different niches. With shorter fins and larger eyes, B. tricoti is very likely a species that prefers the open waters.
As to the discussion on B. tricoti being subordinate males, the morphological evidence is direct argument against this. The pattern of Benthochromis does not change regardless of it's sexually activeness, yet in B. tricoti, the pearly-grey line nearly always overlaps with the lateral line, and is rather thick. But in B. horii, this pearly-grey line is almost always below the lateral line, and much thinner. It is as if the pattern has been "pushed up" in B. horii when compared to B. tricoti.
As to the discussion on the morphological differences being weak and not conclusive. B.melanoides is actually closer to B. horii than B. tricoti in morphology. B. horii has a unique pattern and a set of characters that separates it from B. tricoti as mentioned above.
It is not strict to say that the specimens from the type localities of B. horii and B. tricoti are the same. They could be the same because only one of these two species have been collected.
There are some nice photos of the Benthochromis species, below are links:

B. tricoti: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=13101&p=64673&hilit ... mis#p64673

B. horii: viewtopic.php?f=7&t=11245&p=60186&hilit ... mis#p60186

B. melanoides: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3791&p=23775&hilit ... rii#p23775
Chao Huang (SYSU)
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Mark Smith » Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:04 pm

Well put, Mshuangchao. Your observations are straightforward and are the primary reasons why the two species are valid/distinct.

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Wed Dec 25, 2013 9:12 pm

Mark Smith wrote:Well put, Mshuangchao. Your observations are straightforward and are the primary reasons why the two species are valid/distinct.
Thanks for the reply, I wrote this up because in the CRC database, B. horii is put as a synonym.
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Dec 26, 2013 12:11 am

That's right, it is. However, it is done so incorrectly.

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:43 am

Mark Smith wrote:That's right, it is. However, it is done so incorrectly.
Well I hope it gets fixed one of these days... Even better, we get imports of the true B. tricoti...

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:16 am

mshuangchao wrote: Even better, we get imports of the true B. tricoti...

Chao Huang
if anybody is able to find it, which seems not to be the case... strange no ???

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:24 am

Philippe Burnel wrote:
mshuangchao wrote: Even better, we get imports of the true B. tricoti...

Chao Huang
if anybody is able to find it, which seems not to be the case... strange no ???
Hi Philippe!

Yes, people have caught the real tricoti, mainly local fisherman. It is likely we don't see this species in the trade because it lives in offshore deep waters like Bathybates leo or B. vittatus. I suppose their fry are also offshore dwellers, being pelagic planktivorous.

Furthermore, I'd like to point out these photos of the real tricoti...
download/file.php?id=4862&mode=view
download/file.php?id=4861&mode=view
download/file.php?id=1271&mode=view

The specimens depicted in these photos are generally consistent with Takahashi's illustrations.
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 3:50 am

I know these pictures which doesn't proove anything

You would have a look to Tawil 2008 in cichlid News

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:47 am

Philippe Burnel wrote:I know these pictures which doesn't proove anything

You would have a look to Tawil 2008 in cichlid News
Yes, I am aware of Tawil's article in Cichlid news... a hobbyist magazine, not a scientific journal, which means that what Tawil wrote has no impact academically. I agree there are still some questions to be answered, future studies on the molecular level should give us a clearer picture of things.

Surely you may have your own opinion. But as for now, since there is no scientific publication to invalidate this species, it will remain as a good species to the scientific world, regardless of what hobbyists think. What I wrote in the original post is merely my own opinion and remarks, being a cichlid hobbyist myself with professional background in the taxonomy of freshwater crabs.

Cheer!
C. Huang
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:59 am

The problem is that NOBODY has ever found any good argumentation against Tawil.

And there many publications made in non scientific journals which are absolutly valid following the code.
Even species described by X and published in books edited by X....

There are even sp described without indication of holotype and being considered as "valid"...

And there are sp published in scientific journals which are absolutly wrong (Australoheros spp are just an exemple)


Give me good argumentation to consider hori being differnt sp of tricoti. The original description doesn't show any good argumentation.
If you have a new point of view... please.....

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:47 am

Philippe Burnel wrote:The problem is that NOBODY has ever found any good argumentation against Tawil.

And there many publications made in non scientific journals which are absolutly valid following the code.
Even species described by X and published in books edited by X....

There are even sp described without indication of holotype and being considered as "valid"...

And there are sp published in scientific journals which are absolutly wrong (Australoheros spp are just an exemple)


Give me good argumentation to consider hori being differnt sp of tricoti. The original description doesn't show any good argumentation.
If you have a new point of view... please.....
Sorry, but I am not very sure as to what you mean by "And there many publications made in non scientific journals which are absolutly valid following the code.
Even species described by X and published in books edited by X...."

Yes, you are right that in older literature, some species were published with little data, but I don't think this is comparable to Takahashi's paper which was published in 2008. And yes, sometimes taxonomists do make mistakes, but the only right way to correct this is by scientific publication.

My argument is stated in the original post, most of which is derived from Takahashi's paper, since my field of expertise is not in cichlids. So my argument is just an expression of personal opinion.
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:01 am

Show me picture of living specimens of your "tricoti" and not dead fishes....
I'll, maybe, change my point of view.
Sorry, but I am not very sure as to what you mean by "And there many publications made in non scientific journals which are absolutly valid following the code.
Even species described by X and published in books edited by X...."
Just 2 exemples ?
Pseudotropheus demasoni
Sciaenochromis fryeri and psammophilus,
Nobody has the idea to unvalidate theses spp !
but the only right way to correct this is by scientific publication.
not sure at all !
My argument is stated in the original post, most of which is derived from Takahashi's paper,
The problem beeing that Takahashi's arguments are not really convincing !!!!!

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:16 am

Philippe Burnel wrote:Show me picture of living specimens of your "tricoti" and not dead fishes....
I'll, maybe, change my point of view.
Sorry, but I am not very sure as to what you mean by "And there many publications made in non scientific journals which are absolutly valid following the code.
Even species described by X and published in books edited by X...."
Just 2 exemples ?
Pseudotropheus demasoni
Sciaenochromis fryeri and psammophilus,
Nobody has the idea to unvalidate theses spp !
but the only right way to correct this is by scientific publication.
not sure at all !
My argument is stated in the original post, most of which is derived from Takahashi's paper,
The problem beeing that Takahashi's arguments are not really convincing !!!!!
I see your point! Maybe one day we will get some live specimens of the real thing... or maybe not, I simply don't know. But for now, all we can do is to agree to disagree, I liked the discussion anyways! :)
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by cichla » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:08 am

Dear mshuangchao, dear all,
well, I do not know who (if any) challenge the validity of B. horii. What I know, however, is that there is no ‘academic world’ versus ‘non-academic world’ issue. There are only evidences and knowledge. This is, I think, independent of where a paper is published or who published a paper. Cheers, Cichla

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by mshuangchao » Thu Dec 26, 2013 9:30 am

cichla wrote:Dear mshuangchao, dear all,
well, I do not know who (if any) challenge the validity of B. horii. What I know, however, is that there is no ‘academic world’ versus ‘non-academic world’ issue. There are only evidences and knowledge. This is, I think, independent of where a is published or who published a paper. Cheers, Cichla
Hi, cichla!

It is true that evidence and knowledge are two of the determining factors in a certain issue, but scientific papers nowadays are peer reviewed and meticulously revised before publication, the same can not be said for hobbyist magazines, though they may also hold abundant and accurate knowledge. I'm not saying that there should be "academic world" versus "non-academic world", but rather "non-academic world" as a supplement of the "academic world". People who publish scientific papers are more or less professionally trained, this might not be the case for hobbyist magazine writers. But hobbyists may have an advantage in the amount of time they spend researching the topics they are interested in and the amount of fish they have had in captivity. Therefore, when consensus must be met on an official level, scientific papers play the major role. While other publications may enrich the knowledge or cast doubts on the papers, it has not the credibility to deny papers. If one holds the knowledge and evidence that is sufficient to deny a paper, one should really publish ones findings in a scientific paper for peer revision and subsequent publication.

Cheers,
C. Huang
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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:37 am

mshuangchao wrote: but scientific papers nowadays are peer reviewed and meticulously revised before publication, the same can not be said for hobbyist magazines,
They are reviewed on the basis of the CODE... no more !
Is the description valid following the rules ? This is just the question.

Following the ICZN B tricoti and B horii are BOTH valid.
The problem is to know if one is or isn't a junior synonym of the other.

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Dec 26, 2013 10:57 am

Hi Phillipe

"The problem is that NOBODY has ever found any good argumentation against Tawil."

That is simply not true. In the April 2013 issue, pages 13 and 14, of Cichlid News Magazine, Thomas Anderson gives a very sound argument for the validity of both being valid species. We cannot force you to believe the truth about these two species, but the fact still remains that they are indeed to valid and distinct species.

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Philippe Burnel » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:20 am

Hi Mark..
I must take off this paper from my library..
....

I read many times in the paper "it's possible that... "
Yes of course it is possible. But "it is possible" is not a valid argument !

I'm not against 3 species. I just want real arguments.
Anatomic caracters (specially the one about fins) are not good in the description of horii VS tricoti.

I'm still very surprised that so many "horii" are caught for the hobby , and no "tricoti" so Poll could have described a very rare species while the most common species rest in the shadow ???!!! .
You can answer that melanoides has been unknow during a very long time and that it could be the same for tricoti.
It could be.

I'm still waiting forpictures of living tricoti...

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by Mark Smith » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:36 am

I cannot speak precisely for Thomas's article, but if I had to guess, he was attempting to be gracious and diplomatic on a controversial issue. Be that as it may, his reasoning is quite valid.

I appreciate your desire to see a live B. tricoti, but as we all know, there are several species of cichlids in Lake Tanganyika that have never been photographed alive. (I'm sure we would all love to see to see Trematocara macrostoma, Baileychromis centropomoides, Bathybates vittatus, B. horni, B. leo, and both Hemibates species alive, for that matter). Therefore, your last point cannot hold up to imply that B. horii and B. tricoti are the same species. What would be interesting, though, would be to know precisely how, where, and at what depth B. horii is caught by the collectors a the lake, as well as for how, where, and at what depth the holotype of B. tricoti was caught, for which Poll eventually described.

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Re: Remarks on Benthochromis species

Post by cichla » Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:39 am

Dear mshuangchao, Dear all,
ok, so far I can fellow, there are two different topics included here. The one I like to stick on is the ‘peer-review’ one. So, mshuangchao, you are – if I get you – believe that a statement like ‘’A=A is true’’ is more worth (has a higher value/impact) when it is published in a ‘peer-reviewed’ journal than in a ‘hobbyist’ one. Is it what you like to express? Yours, Cichla.

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