NFIN - The Nothobranchius furzeri Information Network


Distribution and Polymorphism

The distribution range of N. furzeri is in Southern Mozambique and the terra typica Gona Re Zhou is actually the northern limit of this range. The distribution range covers three broadly-defined watersheds. The first is the set of temporary rivers that flow from the plateau of Gona Re Zhou (about 400m) in Zimbabwe into Mozambique. This watershed is referred to as the "Chefu" basin. The second watershed is the Limpopo. The third watershed is defined by the rivers Vaneteze and Mazimechopes and draws into the Incomati. The river Save represents the western limit of the distribution range for N. furzeri. Over this distribution range, two color morphs are known. The first morph, typical of the holotype and all paratypes of the species, shows a black marginal band in the caudal fin and a yellow submarginal band in the caudal fin and it is referred to as the yellow morph. A second morph shows a broad red marginal band in the caudal fin and it is referred to as the red morph. There is a spatial distribution of the color morphs with the yellow phenotype present in the periphery of the distribution and the red phenotype which dominates the Limpopo area. The genetic basis of this color polymorphism was studied by Valenzano et al. and by Kirschner, Reichwald et al. The polymorphism is inherited as a simple mendelian trait and the causative (unidentified) gene is in close proximity of the Mc1R gene.

The distribution range of N. furzeri partially overlaps with that of two other species of Nothobranchius: N. orthonotus and a yet undescribed species N. sp. aff. rachovii "Black". N. furzeri and N. orthonotus were both reported in Gona Re Zhou and the three species were reported to co-occur in several habitats close to the river Limpopo.


last update of this page: January 31, 2011