Sampling completed

When I wrote down the species list of fish that I wanted to test for my project, I was in an optimistic mood. I wrote down species that are rare, hard to catch and very difficult to bring up from the deep without decompression sickness. “Very unlikely”, I thought but not impossible. The only thing that seemed impossible was to get to the lake during lockdown.

Another stunning sunset at the southern end of Lake Tanganyika .

Once I arrived with my field assistant (wasn’t sure whether he could join me until I was in Zambia), we put all our energy and love into the project. We got up horribly early each day, worked in the boiling heat all day long and passed out in the early evening: eat, work, drink, repeat. We got all the fish we wanted and even more. The field trip during Corona has been the most successful of all and I am truly proud of that. Sad to leave this beautiful country soon but will return to Basel with a hell lot of cool data.

Explanation below…

What you see on this picture are the different cichlid species on the x-axis and the number of individuals per species on the y-axis. There is a red line at the number of twelve. It was my goal to get twelve individuals for each species. With two small exceptions, we got them all!!!! Fifty-seven cichlid species. About 24 TB of video material in total. Cheers for today and thanks to all the awesome supporters of this unique project.

Happiness about having tested a Cyphotilapia frontosa. These fish were on the wish list under “very unlikely”.

Published by caribiologist

Postdoc at the University of Basel, Switzerland

2 thoughts on “Sampling completed

  1. Wow that’s awesome! What an achievement! Congratulations!

    At this rate you will also identify a new species one day, which you can then name and there many more lakes like lake Ohrid in Europe even!


    1. Awww thanks so much Johannes!!! Very kind of you. Hahah let’s see about the new species…no doubt there are many to be discovered. Never been to lake Ohrid yet but sounds good.


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