Fundulopanchax kamdemi , Akum, Christian, Sonnenberg, Rainer, Van, Jouke R., Zee, Der & Wildekamp, Rudolf H., 2007

Akum, Christian, Sonnenberg, Rainer, Van, Jouke R., Zee, Der & Wildekamp, Rudolf H., 2007, Fundulopanchax kamdemi (Cyprinodontiformes: Nothobranchiidae) a new species from Korup National Park, western Cameroon, Zootaxa 1532, pp. 41-49: 43-48

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Fundulopanchax kamdemi

new species

Fundulopanchax kamdemi  , new species

( Figs. 2–4View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3View FIGURE 4)

Aphyosemion  sp. 0 1 (cf. A. cameronense  )÷( McGregor Reid, 1989: 27) Aphyosemion  sp. ( KORUP 01) ( Kamdem Toham, 1992: 6 –10) Fundulopanchax  sp. aff. ndianus  ( Wildekamp, 1996: 193-194) Aphyosemion aff. amieti ( Huber, 1996: 323) 

Fundulopanchax aff. ndianus ( Huber, 2000: 472) 

Holotype. MRACAbout MRAC A 2 –003–P–0001, male, 50.0 mm SL; Cameroon: Korup National Park, small pools under forest cover; 05°05’N 08° 52 ’E; G. Chiambeng, 12 January 2001.

Paratypes. MRACAbout MRAC A 2 –003–P–0002–0003, two males, 43.1–46.1 mm SL; same data as holotype.

- MRACAbout MRAC 92–144 –P–0384–0386, 2 males, 40.5–45.7 mm SL and female, 47.3 mm SL; Cameroon: Korup National Park: west of science camp; 05°05’N 08° 52 ’E; A. Kamdem Toham, 19 December 1992.

- ZFMKAbout ZFMK 39900 –39917, 7 males, 38.3–54.4 mm SL and 11 females, 31.9–51.6 mm SL; Cameroon: Korup National Park, small forest stream emptying in swampy pools; 05°00’ 20 ’’N 08° 47 ’01’’E; C. Akum, December 2001.

- ZFMKAbout ZFMK 39918–39931, juvenile specimens, not measured; Cameroon: Korup National Park, small forest stream emptying in swampy pools; 05°00’ 20 ’’N 08° 47 ’01’’E; C. Akum, December 2001, same data as ZFMKAbout ZFMK specimens.

- IRAD Research Station, Batoke, Limbe, Cameroon, four specimens, two males and two females; Cameroon: Korup National Park, small forest stream emptying in swampy pools; C. Akum, December 2001.

Additional material. Fundulopanchax kamdemi 

Fundulopanchax ndianus ( Scheel, 1968)  ,

MRACAbout MRAC 73 – 39 –P– 1649–1660 (paratypes); Nigeria, near Osomba, H.S. Clausen and J.J. Scheel, 1961. MRACAbout MRAC 84 – 51 –P– 27–28; Nigeria, 88 km NE on MCC road. (female in this lot = Aphyosemion calliurum  ). MRACAbout MRAC 84 – 51 –P– 162–163; Nigeria, Nsan village, appr. 40 km N. of Calabar (female in this lot = Aphyosemion calliurum  ).

Fundulopanchax mirabilis 

MRACAbout MRAC A 2 –003–P–0004–0008; Cameroon, Korup National Park; G. Chiambeng, 12 January 2001.

Uncatalogued material in the collection of the second author, used for DNAAbout DNA studies, of the following species: F. amieti  , F. arnoldi  , F. avichang  , F. deltaensis  , F. fallax  , F. gularis  , F. ndianus  , F. puerzli  , F. rubrolabialis  , F. sjoestedti  , F. spoorenbergi  , F. traudeae  and F. w a l k e r i.

Diagnosis. Fundulopanchax kamdemi  shares with all other Fundulopanchax  species except those of the subgenus Paludopanchax  16 or more scales around the caudal peduncle versus 12 in Aphyosemion  s.l. It is distinguished from all Aphyosemion  species and many Fundulopanchax  except F. arnoldi  , F. deltaensis  , F. g u l a r i s, F. kribianus  , F. ndianus  , F. robertsoni  , F. rubrolabialis  , F. schwoiseri  , F. s j o e s t e d t i, and F. w a l k e r i by the high number of dorsal (15–18) and anal fin rays (16–19) (according to the descriptions and data in Huber 2000). It is distinguished from all Fundulopanchax  species by its unique male coloration of a red longitudinal band on the middle of the sides versus no red band, with the exception of F. amieti  , F. avichang  , F. deltaensis  and some individual specimens of F. ndianus  , F. p u e r z l i and F. spoorenbergi  . It is distinguished from all Fundulopanchax  species, except F. ndianus  and some specimens of F. p u e r z l i, by a red ventral band from the pelvic fins to the lower caudal fin base. F. kamdemi  is distinguished from the latter species and most other Fundulopanchax  except F. spoorenbergi  by the coloration of the unpaired fins as given below. Females can be distinguished from its congeners by the presence of an orange-red margin at the dorsal fin and a narrow red band at the base of the anal fin.

Description. See Figures 2–4View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3View FIGURE 4 for general appearance and Table 1 for morphometric data of the type specimens.

Fundulopanchax  of large size. Dorsal-fin origin distinctly behind mid-length of body and just behind anal fin origin. Dorsal fin 15–18 rays, anal fin 16–19 rays. Scales on mid-longitudinal series 34–38 plus 3 or 4 on caudal fin base, most with shallow pit in centre, not connected to underlying neuromast system. Transverse rows of scales above pelvic fin 10–11; scale rows around caudal peduncle 16. Supra-orbital squamation Gpattern, with two H-scales. Anterior and central cephalic neuromast systems separated, consisting of two shallow grooves, lined with low lobes. Posterior cephalic neuromast system, consisting of 3 neuromasts, in an open curved groove, with both ends angled to approximately 90 º. Preopercular neuromast system tubular with six exposing pores.

holotype Paratype males X (n= 13) SD Paratype females X (n= 13) SD

male (range) (range)

Standard length 50.0 43.5 –73.0 40.0– 61.7

Interorbital width 12.2 7.4–12.7 11.9 0.76 7.6–12.7 11.5 0.66 Snout length 5.2 5.8–8.3 7.1 0.92 5.2–8.7 7.1 1.22 Males. Up to 73.0 mm SL. Body laterally compressed. Dorsal profile nearly straight. No distinct transition between head and body. Dorsal and anal fin trapezoid, pointed at distal end. Dorsal and anal fin rays slightly projecting from fin membrane. Both fins covered with a thin layer of epidermal tissue. No visible papillae on dorsal and anal fin rays. Opercular membrane slightly projecting posteriorly, distal edge smooth or only slightly wrinkled.

Many small and hair like, probably epithelial, papillae at the distal margin of the scales in the mid-longitudinal and lower scale row at caudal peduncle, beginning above the anal fin. This phenomena was also described for F. ndianus ( Scheel, 1968)  , F. p u e r z l i ( Radda & Scheel, 1974) and F. amieti ( Radda, 1976)  . Scheel (1968) described it ctenoid spines at some scales. In the descriptions of F. puerzli  and F. amieti  these where named ctenii or 'Kontaktorgane' (contact organs) ( Radda, 1976; Radda & Scheel, 1974). Similar structures were observed by us in F. fallax (Ahl, 1935)  and F. traudeae (Radda, 1971)  . These hair like structures seem to be of a similar origin as the ctenii on the distal margin of the scales on the species mentioned above. They can vary in appearance from short and stout ( F. ndianus  ) to long and hair like ( F. fallax  , F. amieti  and F. kamdemi  sp. nov.). It is to note that not all individuals of a species show these structures ( Scheel, 1990, and own observation), which makes it difficult to draw conclusions about its distribution in the different Fundulopanchax  species groups. The origin and function of these structures is not known and will be subject of a future study. It is thought that they play a role during spawning like the fin and scale papillae in the genus Nothobranchius  .

Females. Up to 61.7 mm SL. Body less laterally compressed and deeper than male. Dorsal profile straight. Dorsal and anal fin trapezoid, tip rounded. Caudal fin rounded. No epidermal tissue present on dorsal and anal fins. Opercular membrane not projecting posteriorly. No papillae at the body scales.

Coloration. Males ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2) Live specimen. Dorsal brown to red-brown. Sides dominated by a bright red longitudinal band, extending from upper opercle junction to caudal fin base. On anterior part of body this band may be interrupted, as in Fig. 2View FIGURE 2. On anterior part of sides a short red band or series of red spots usually below longitudinal band. Body coloration above red band reflective green to blue-green. Below band reflective light blue. Red-brown of dorsal area usually separated from the green on sides by a series of red spots. A further red band, following lower body profile, from pelvic fins to caudal fin base. Upper part of the head brown, opercle reflective green. Throat and lower part of the head light blue. On opercle three parallel oblique red streaks. Under eye a red band and a further red band just below the lower lip. Lobes lining supra-orbital neuromast systems red. Lower part of dorsal fin reflective green-blue with series of red dots at base. Dorsal fin margin yellow-green separated from green-blue by a red band. Anal fin light blue. At the base a red band. Anal fin margin dark red. Caudal fin reflective green-blue to light blue. On central part an irregular pattern of red flame-like stripes parallel to the rays. One or two flames originating from end of red body band. Upper caudal fin margin yellow-green, separated from central part by a red band. Upper caudal fin margin ending in a long extension. Lower edge of caudal fin dark red, separated from central part by a white, light blue or in some specimen yellow band. Pelvic fins light blue with red margin. Pectoral fins transparent light blue with red sub-terminal band and light blue edge.

Females ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3) Live specimen. Body coloration generally grey-brown to yellow-brown. Upper part of sides with light green cast. Lower part of sides with light blue. On middle of sides a series of red spots. On anterior part of body a second series of red spots below it. Lower part of the sides, ventrum and throat pale orange. Lower half of dorsal fin reflective green with some red spots at base. Upper half of dorsal fin orangered. Basal part of anal fin light blue with red horizontal band. Remaining part of anal fin pale yellow with red edge. Caudal fin transparent pale green-yellow. Upper part and upper edge of caudal fin orange-red with some red spots at base. Pelvic fins orange. Pectoral fins hyaline.

Preserved in ethanol. Males ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4). Pale white-yellow band distinctly present on mid-lateral body. Longitudinal band separates dark grey-brown dorso-lateral part of body from yellow-grey ventro-lateral part. Anterior part of mid-lateral band usually consisting of two parallel horizontal lines, in some specimens represented by series of dots. The two parallel horizontal lines fuse to one band above middle of anal fin base. Upper part of head grey-brown, lower part and throat pale yellow. Opercle with 2 to 3 parallel pale white-yellow oblique bars. Dorsal fin semi-transparent grey. A purple band runs from the middle of the first dorsal fin ray to the pointed distal end separating the light grey margin from the rest of the fin. In most specimens the purple band is forked, its lower branch reaching distal dorsal fin base. At base of dorsal fin two or three purple spots. Anal fin with pale yellow band at base, followed by a pale grey part and black to dark brown margin. In some individuals the black to dark brown band may be followed by a grey-white margin. Caudal fin purplebrown. The white-yellow body band continues in the caudal fin and ends in the upper extension. Upper caudal fin margin as dorsal fin margin. From lower part of caudal fin base a pale yellow band runs obliquely upward to about half-way along the fin. From there it runs downward, parallel to fin rays, to the lower caudal fin extension. Fin part below band purple-brown followed by grey-white submargin and black to dark brown margin.

Females. Uniform grey-brown on body and sides. Vague band of light grey-yellow spots running from the upper opercle to the caudal fin base. All fins uniformly semi-transparent grey.

Distribution. Fundulopanchax kamdemi  is known from a limited number of localities, all within the Korup National Park. It was mentioned as Aphyosemion  sp. 0 1 (cf. A. cameronense  ) in McGregor Reid (1989) from the Akpa-Yafe River and the upper Ndian River, in southern Korup only. This was confirmed by comparing the specimens, deposited by Kamdem Toham, as Aphyosemion  sp. ( KORUP 01) in the collection of the Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium. He found them in the swampy parts that edge the small creeks under the cover of the forest in the southern Korup close to the Science camp ( Kamdem Toham, 1992). Additionally the three collection localities, studied by the first author, confirmed the presence of the new species in the southern part of the Park only. Presence in the adjacent Oban National Park at the Nigerian side of the border may be possible but could not be confirmed as no collections of cyprinodontiform fishes are known from there. Other cyprinodontiform species found in sympatry with F. kamdemi  are F. marmoratus  , Epiplatys infrafasciatus (Günther, 1866)  (= E. sexfasciatus  in McGregor Reid, 1989 and Kamdem Toham, 1992), Aphyosemion (Chromaphyosemion) bivittatum  , A. calliurum  and Aplocheilichthys spilauchen  . All have a larger distribution and are also known from localities outside the park.

Ecology. According to Kamdem Toham (1992) the species generally lives in the shallow swampy pools at the edge of small creeks under forest cover. These pools, up to 35 cm in depth, are partly covered with a layer of fallen leaves under which the fishes in the pools take cover.

Additional ecological information was collected by the first author. The presence of F. kamdemi  was also recorded from small forest streams connected with swampy pools. Streams and pools are heavily shaded by peripheral vegetation and their bottom is covered by decaying leaves, branches and logs. Both the streams and pools contain clear water during the rainy season and brown tinged during the dry season. Water depths ranged during the seasons from 2 to 48.3 cm. Water temperature was measured between 20.9 and 23.8 ° C, the pH between 5.0 and 7.5. Water hardness varied between 0.6 and 1 DH, conductivity between 10 and 21 µS/cm and the total dissolved oxygen between 0.9 and 5.5 mg /l. Stomach contents of F. k a m d e m i indicated an insectivorous behavior and consisted of ants, crickets, beetles, spiders and cockroaches, with a predominance of ants. In the wild, maturity was observed in the months of November to January. These shallow pools dry out periodically, suggesting an annual mode of reproduction. The first observations on the breeding biology of F. kamdemi  were carried out in captivity by K.-H. Lüke, Bochum and W. Eigelshofen, Sprockhövel, both Germany indicate that its annual mode of reproduction is facultative. Embryological development has not been studied.

The cyprinodontiform fish fauna of the Korup National park. The cyprinodont fauna of the Korup National Park and its surroundings is diverse. The collections made by McGregor Reid and Kamdem Toham (specimens collected by the latter are in the collection of the Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium) included species of five different genera (e.g. Epiplatys  , Aplocheilichthys  , Aphyosemion  , Fundulopanchax  and Procatopus  ). McGregor Reid (1989) distinguished, based on male coloration, four different phenotypes of the genus Procatopus  and Kamdem Toham (1992) distinguished two. Based on Van der Zee, Woeltjes and Wildekamp (in press) two Procatopus  species occur in the vicinity of the Korup National Park, P. aberrans Ahl, 1927  and P. s i m i l i s Ahl, 1927. Both are variable in male coloration at the population level, but P. a b e r - rans generally is restricted to the soils of basement crystalline origin and P. s i m i l i s to soils of sedimentary origin. In the areas surrounding the park, in Nigeria as well as in Cameroon, the occurrence of Aphyosemion calliurum  , A.  (Chromaphyosemion) cf. splendopleure (Brüning, 1929), F. sjoestedti (Lönnberg, 1895)  , F. m a r - moratus, F. scheeli  (Radda, 1970), F. n d i a n u s. (Berkenkamp, 1976) and E. grahami (Boulenger, 1911)  , have been demonstrated ( Huber, 2000; Radda & Pürzl, 1982; Wildekamp, 1993, 1996).

Etymology. Named for Andre Kamdem Toham of the World Wildlife Fund’s Central African Rainforest Project ( CARPE) and a collector of this new species.

TABLE 1. Morphometric characters of Fundulopanchax kamdemi new species, expressed in percentages of standard length. Standard length in mm. Mean and SD figures for males include holo- and paratypes.

Body depth 21.0 17.8–21.7 20.7 1.07 17.8–23.3 21.5 1.80
Body width 10.4 10.1–12.6 11.3 0.85 11.4–17.2 14.0 1.71
Head length 26.4 23.9–28.9 26.6 1.34 22.1–28.7 26.3 1.66
Eye diameter 7.2 7.2–13.1 8.2 0.71 7.6–12.3 9.0 0.88

Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport














Fundulopanchax kamdemi

Akum, Christian, Sonnenberg, Rainer, Van, Jouke R., Zee, Der & Wildekamp, Rudolf H. 2007



Huber 1996: 323Kamdem 1992: 6
McGregor 1989: 27


Fundulopanchax aff. ndianus (

Huber 2000: 472