For one thing, it might be that Telmatochromis is close to Julidochromis, which they somewhat resemble. A possibility is hybridization between the ancestor of Telmatochromis and a lineage of Julidochromis which later gave rise to J. marlieri and the Convict Julie (J. regani). Similar ND2 DNA has been found in these and T. bifrenatus, T. brichardi and T. temporalis.
T. vittatus on the other hand has a ND2 DNA sequence resembling that of Lamprologus congoensis and L. teugelsi. But T. vittatus does not at all appear very similar to these species, and in fact may well be closer to T. bifrenatus and T. brichardi than to T. temporalis. That would mean that male ancestors of T. vittatus had successfully interbred with female Lamprologus after the lineage of the former had diverged from its relatives.
There are currently six recognized species in this genus:
- Telmatochromis bifrenatus G. S. Myers, 1936
- Telmatochromis brachygnathus Hanssens & Snoeks, 2003
- Telmatochromis brichardi Louisy, 1989
- Telmatochromis dhonti (Boulenger, 1919)
- Telmatochromis temporalis Boulenger, 1898
- Telmatochromis vittatus Boulenger, 1898
- Day, Julia J.; Santini, Simona & Garcia-Moreno, Jaime (2007): Phylogenetic relationships of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Lamprologini: The story from mitochondrial DNA. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45(2): 629–642. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.02.025 (HTML abstract)
- Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2013). Species of Telmatochromis in FishBase. April 2013 version.
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