African genus Epiplatys fully reviewed with 7 subgenera and no more subspecies


From Jean H. Huber
Private address: 7 Bd Flandrin, 75116 Paris, France
M.N.H.N., Ichthyology, PARIS, France.


Paris, May 7. 2024.


Dear Colleague, dear Aquarist!

The systematics of the African genus Epiplatys are fully reviewed with 7 subgenera and no more subspecies in the last issue of Killi-Data Series (2024) in 57 pages.

Epiplatys is now with 7 subgenera, Aphyoplatys (as Aphyop.), Epiplatys s.s., as Ep., Kulonplatys, as Kulon., Lycocyprinus as Lyc., Parepiplatys, as Par., Pseudepiplatys, as Ps., Xerosplatys, as Xeros. (official abbreviations in Killi-Data), Kulonplatys and Xerosplatys, being new with type species respectively fasciolatus and bifasciatus.
And no more subspecies are retained (all are upgraded to full species status).
The new subegenera assignments, the downgrading of previous genera Aphyoplatys and Pseudepiplatys, and the full species status for previous subspecies are fully in line with molecular evidence by Collier (2009, 2016, 2021, alone or not as co-author).
Major changes concern the revalidation of lokoensis, the synonymy of taeniatus, the new phylogenetic hypotheses of longiventralis, biafranus, nigricans, and the shift in naming of the multifasciatus species-group (or superspecies) to ansorgii species-group (because of anteriority).

Full details are at ABSTRACT-REFERENCE, and the full PDF can be purchased at cost or requested for free by Killi-Data members after free REGISTRATION !


Today the taxonomic landscape is clearer. Is it the last word? Certainly not, a full mitochondial study with all species of the genus is needed, our understanding is still too poor.


In the following visual table (that can be sorted according to the title of each column), the list of previous and new names and status in Killi-Data is given in 6 columns, (1) each previous name (taxon) in Killi-Data, (2) the previous status of each taxon in Killi-Data, (3) each new name, (4) list of describer(s), year, (5) new status for each taxon, (6) allocation to subgenera for valid sp. {note : for columns (2) and (5), valid sp. means that species is considered as valid, '= x' means that species is considered a synonym of x, nomin. subsp. and subsp. x meant respectively valid nominate subspecies and valid junior subspecies of x, invalid refers to an invalid name, nom. preocc. refers to a preoccupied name}.

If you are in a hurry, just click once on last column and you'll have the new full names (with subgenus) in Killi-Data.



Previous full name in K-DPrevious status in K-DNew name
(valid or not)
Describer(s), year New statusAlloc. to subgenera for valid sp.
Epiplatys acuticaudatus= spilargyreiusEpiplatys acuticaudatus(Pellegrin, 1913)= spilargyreius   
Pseudepiplatys annulatusvalid sp.Epiplatys annulatus(Boulenger, 1915)valid sp. Ep. (Ps.) annulatus
Epiplatys ansorgiivalid sp.Epiplatys ansorgii(Boulenger, 1911)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) ansorgii
Epiplatys atratusvalid sp.Epiplatys atratusZee, Mbimbi & Sonnenberg, 2013valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) atratus
Epiplatys olbrechtsi azureussubsp. olbrechtsiEpiplatys azureusBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1983valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) azureus
Epiplatys barmoiensisvalid sp.Epiplatys barmoiensisScheel, 1968valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) barmoiensis
Epiplatys infrafasciatus baroi= zenkeriEpiplatys baroiBerkenkamp, 1975= zenkeri   
Epiplatys baudoni= bifasciatusEpiplatys baudoni(Pellegrin, 1922)= bifasciatus   
Epiplatys berkenkampivalid sp.Epiplatys berkenkampiNeumann, 1978valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) berkenkampi
Epiplatys biafranusvalid sp.Epiplatys biafranusRadda, 1970valid sp. Ep. (Parep.) biafranus
Epiplatys bifasciatus bifasciatusnomin. subsp. bifasciatus bifasciatusEpiplatys bifasciatus(Steindachner, 1881)valid sp. Ep. (Xeros.) bifasciatus
Epiplatys boulengerivalid sp.Epiplatys boulengeri(Pellegrin, 1926)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) boulengeri
Epiplatys cashnerivalid sp.Epiplatys cashneriPezold, Ford & Schmidt, 2021valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) cashneri
Epiplatys chaperi chaperinomin. subsp. chaperi chaperiEpiplatys chaperi(Sauvage, 1882)valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) chaperi
Epiplatys chevalierivalid sp.Epiplatys chevalieri(Pellegrin, 1904)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) chevalieri
Epiplatys chinchoxoanus= singaEpiplatys chinchoxoanus(Ahl, 1924)= singa   
Epiplatys coccinatusvalid sp.Epiplatys coccinatusBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1982valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) coccinatus
Epiplatys dageti dagetinomin. subsp. dageti dagetiEpiplatys dagetiPoll, 1953valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) dageti
Epiplatys olbrechtsi dauresisubsp. olbrechtsiEpiplatys dauresiRomand, 1985valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) dauresi
Epiplatys decemfasciatus= spilargyreiusEpiplatys decemfasciatus(Pellegrin, 1934)= spilargyreius   
Epiplatys dorsalis= fasciolatusEpiplatys dorsalisAhl, 1938= fasciolatus   
Aphyoplatys duboisivalid sp.Epiplatys duboisiPoll, 1952valid sp. Ep. (Aphyop.) duboisi
Epiplatys esekanusvalid sp.Epiplatys esekanusScheel, 1968valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) esekanus
Epiplatys etzelivalid sp.Epiplatys etzeliBerkenkamp, 1975valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) etzeli
Epiplatys fasciolatus fasciolatusnomin. subsp. fasciolatus fasciolatusEpiplatys fasciolatus(Günther, 1866)valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) fasciolatus
Epiplatys grahamivalid sp.Epiplatys grahami(Boulenger, 1911)valid sp. Ep. (Parep.) grahami
Epiplatys guineensisvalid sp.Epiplatys guineensisRomand, 1994valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) guineensis
Epiplatys hildegardaevalid sp.Epiplatys hildegardaeBerkenkamp, 1978valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) hildegardae
Epiplatys huberivalid sp.Epiplatys huberi(Radda & Pürzl, 1981)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) huberi
Epiplatys fasciolatus huwaldi= tototaensisEpiplatys huwaldiBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1978= tototaensis   
Epiplatys infrafasciatus infrafasciatusnomin. subsp. infrafasciatus infrafasciatusEpiplatys infrafasciatus(Günther, 1866)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) infrafasciatus
Epiplatys fasciolatus josianaesubsp. fasciolatusEpiplatys josianaeBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1983valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) josianae
Epiplatys olbrechtsi kassiapleuensissubsp. olbrechtsiEpiplatys kassiapleuensisBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1977valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) kassiapleuensis
Epiplatys lacazei= spilargyreius (invalid)Epiplatys lacazei(Rochebrune, 1885)= spilargyreius (invalid)   
Epiplatys lamotteivalid sp.Epiplatys lamotteiDaget, 1954valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) lamottei
Epiplatys leonensis= fasciolatusEpiplatys leonensisAhl, 1937= fasciolatus   
Epiplatys lokoensis= barmoiensisEpiplatys lokoensisBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1978valid sp. Ep. (Xeros.) lokoensis
Epiplatys longiventralisvalid sp.Epiplatys longiventralis(Boulenger, 1911)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) longiventralis
Epiplatys macrostigma= singaEpiplatys macrostigma(Boulenger, 1911)= singa   
Epiplatys marnoi= spilargyreiusEpiplatys marnoi(Steindachner, 1881)= spilargyreius   
Epiplatys matlocki= fasciolatusEpiplatys matlockiFowler, 1950= fasciolatus   
Epiplatys mesogrammavalid sp.Epiplatys mesogrammaHuber, 1980valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) mesogramma
Epiplatys dageti monroviaesubsp. dagetiEpiplatys monroviaeArnoult & Daget, 1965valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) monroviae
Epiplatys multifasciatusvalid sp.Epiplatys multifasciatus(Boulenger, 1913)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) multifasciatus
Epiplatys ndelensis= bifasciatusEpiplatys ndelensisFowler, 1949= bifasciatus   
Epiplatys neumannivalid sp.Epiplatys neumanniBerkenkamp, 1993valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) neumanni
Epiplatys nigricans= chevalieriEpiplatys nigricans(Boulenger, 1913)valid sp.   
Epiplatys nigromarginatus= grahamiEpiplatys nigromarginatusAhl, 1938= grahami   
Epiplatys njalaensisvalid sp.Epiplatys njalaensisNeumann, 1976valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) njalaensis
Epiplatys nyongensis= sangmelinensisEpiplatys nyongensis(Ahl, 1928)= sangmelinensis   
Epiplatys olbrechtsi olbrechtsinomin. subsp. olbrechtsi olbrechtsiEpiplatys olbrechtsiPoll, 1941valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) olbrechtsi
Epiplatys ornatus= singaEpiplatys ornatus(Ahl, 1928)= singa   
Epiplatys phoenicepsvalid sp.Epiplatys phoenicepsHuber, 1980valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) phoeniceps
Epiplatys olbrechtsi puetzisubsp. olbrechtsiEpiplatys puetziBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1985valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) puetzi
Epiplatys infrafasciatus rathkeisubsp. infrafasciatusEpiplatys rathkeiRadda, 1970valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) rathkei
Epiplatys roloffivalid sp.Epiplatys roloffiRomand, 1978valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) roloffi
Epiplatys rubropunctatus= sexfasciatus GillEpiplatys rubropunctatus(Steindachner, 1867)= sexfasciatus Gill   
Epiplatys ruhkopfivalid sp.Epiplatys ruhkopfiBerkenkamp & Etzel, 1980valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) ruhkopfi
Epiplatys chaperi samborskiisubsp. chaperiEpiplatys samborskiiNeumann, 2003valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) samborskii
Epiplatys sangmelinensisvalid sp.Epiplatys sangmelinensis(Ahl, 1928)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) sangmelinensis
Epiplatys chaperi schreiberisubsp. chaperiEpiplatys schreiberiBerkenkamp, 1975valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) schreiberi
Epiplatys senegalensis= spilargyreiusEpiplatys senegalensis(Steindachner, 1870)= spilargyreius   
Epiplatys sexfasciatusvalid sp.Epiplatys sexfasciatusGill, 1862valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) sexfasciatus
Epiplatys sexfasciatus Petersnom. preoc. = monroviaeEpiplatys sexfasciatus Peters(Peters, 1864)nom. preoc. = monroviae   
Epiplatys chaperi sheljuzhkoisubsp. chaperiEpiplatys sheljuzhkoiPoll, 1953valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) sheljuzhkoi
Epiplatys singavalid sp.Epiplatys singa(Boulenger, 1899)valid sp. Ep. (Parep.) singa
Epiplatys spilargyreiusvalid sp.Epiplatys spilargyreius(Duméril, 1861)valid sp. Ep. (Xeros.) spilargyreius
Epiplatys chaperi spillmannisubsp. chaperiEpiplatys spillmanniArnoult, 1960valid sp. Ep. (Lyc.) spillmanni
Epiplatys steindachneri= bifasciatusEpiplatys steindachneri(Svensson, 1933)= bifasciatus   
Epiplatys superbus= grahamiEpiplatys superbus(Ahl, 1924)= grahami   
Epiplatys bifasciatus taeniatussubsp. bifasciatusEpiplatys taeniatus(Pfaff, 1933)= bifasciatus   
Epiplatys togolensisvalid sp.Epiplatys togolensisLoiselle, 1971valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) togolensis
Epiplatys fasciolatus tototaensissubsp. fasciolatusEpiplatys tototaensisRomand, 1978valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) tototaensis
Epiplatys infrafasciatus zenkerisubsp. infrafasciatusEpiplatys zenkeri(Ahl, 1928)valid sp. Ep. (Ep.) zenkeri
Epiplatys fasciolatus zimiensissubsp. fasciolatusEpiplatys zimiensisBerkenkamp, 1977valid sp. Ep. (Kulon.) zimiensis






With this major revision, this is the before-last review needed on large genera of Killifish (Cyprinodontiformes), knowing that the last one on Procatopodidae or African true lampeyes is in the pipeline for later 2024 or 2025 !


To show up the still poor knowledge on Epiplatinae, let's copy the conclusion of the article by Huber:
Ref.: Huber, J.H. 2024. Taxonomic Reappraisal and Rearrangement of genus Epiplatys and Its generic and specific Components, with 2 new subgenera. Killi-Data Series 2024, (2024): 4-60, figs.

(Quote) The phylogenetic status of components of the genus is so poor and field studies are so dispersed (and old) that a broad discussion on future key studies seems of utmost necessity.
At generic level, the key issue is to develop molecular studies on major missing taxa even with limited sequences, such as longiventralis, biafranus, atratus, barmoiensis, lokoensis, several distinct phenotypes of the ansorgii-multifasciatus group (from the Congo Cuvette, its western belts in southeastern Gabon and southwestern Congo), and bifasciatus s.l. and spilargyreius s.l. for their Sahelian populations up to Nile basin of, then to start a comprehensive study with full mitochondrion and key nuclear data of as many taxa as possible, notably to check if lamottei is part of fasciolatus group or should stand alone (then deserve another monotypic generic name, with herein given diagnostic characters) or come closer to duboisi, despite the huge gap in distribution, and notably to fix if sangmelinensis group is to be fused with chevalieri group, or not, and if both, in turn, are separated enough from ansorgii group, or not.
At specific level, the key issue is to develop molecular studies to confirm upgrading previous subspecies to full species status (or not, then synonymizing junior taxa), like zenkeri, rathkei, nigricans, sheljuzhkoi, spillmanni. monroviae, schreiberi, samborskii, kassiapleuensis, zimiensis, tototaensis, josianae, azureus, puetzi, dauresi. More precisely (not taking into account presently un-named or un-identified populations)…
Finally, if herein hypothetical phylogenetic models are checked by molecular data, convergence of color or of shape characters should be discussed in details, such as for presumably unrelated bifasciatus and barmoiensis, unrelated bifasciatus and biafranus, potentially related longiventralis and togolensis ; besides the so-called gap in anterior neuromast patterns (open vs. closed) must be -at last- statistically corroborated on large samples of specimens (e.g., for longiventralis and for populations at suture zone of ansorgii and sexfasciatus groups in Gabon) and that gap must be phylogenetically explained (notably, whether longiventralis is the primitive form of the group, or not).


Indeed, many questions !


In total a very important and sensitive newsletter !
Hopefully a boost to our community and a spur to speed up knowledge progress on our (beloved) fishes !


Take care and enjoy the scientific or aquaristic complexity of killifish !

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Thank you for your support over the years.

With my kindest regards.


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