The genus Afrocymbella (Bacillariophyceae) from lakes Malawi and Tanganyika, with description of new fossil and extant species

Jeffery R. Stone, Mallory C. Wilson, Elena Jovanovska

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1 Scopus citations


Observations from modern communities and fossil diatom assemblages from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi were analyzed to explore species richness in the genus Afrocymbella. Modern samples were collected along the shores of both lakes and from open water sites. Fossil assemblages were analyzed from two existing cores collected near the central basins of both lakes, spanning back to the late Pleistocene. We document seven previously described Afrocymbella species, namely A. muellerii, A. beccarii, A. brunii, A. gracilis, A. kociolekii, A. rossii, and A. tanganyikae. We also encountered five Afrocymbella species (A. symmetrica sp. nov., A. nyassae sp. nov., A. delphinea sp. nov., A. cocquytiana sp. nov., and A. gibba sp. nov.) in both modern samples and fossil assemblages that did not fit any existing species and are here described as new to science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-48
Number of pages28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank James Russell and the Lake Malawi Drilling Project for providing fossil diatom material from Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi, respectively. We also thank Walter Salzburger, Adrian Indermaur, Fabrizia Ronco, and Heinz Buescher for collecting modern diatom material by SCUBA diving in 2018 and 2019. Moreover, we thank Paul Hamilton for collecting diatom material with EJ on the 2018 field expedition. We thank Paul Hamilton and one anonymous reviewer for careful and thoughtful comments that improved the manuscript. Funding for sampling came from the DFG, grant number JO 1731/1-1, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany and TUNGANE project, Tanzania.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Magnolia Press.


  • ancient lakes
  • modern records
  • sediment core records
  • species description
  • taxonomy

Continental Scientific Drilling Facility tags

  • GLAD7
  • LT17


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