Series: Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology Volume: 26/1
By: Keith Edward Banister(Author)
148 pages, 105 b/w line drawings
All the previously described species and subspecies of the large Barbus (the species usually described as possessing parallel striae on their scales) from east and central Africa are examined. The area under consideration is bounded in the north by the mouth of the Nile and in the south by the Zambezi system. The western boundary is the upper reaches of the Congo system adjacent to the rift valley and the eastern boundary is the coast.
It is shown that many nominal species can be synonymized when a sufficiently large series of specimens is available to show that the characters formerly used to distinguish them form a continuous series within a polytypic species. Consideration is given to the taxonomic value of these characters and their variability is demonstrated. Particularly variable are the lips, body depth and head length. This is a reflection both of eco-phenotypic factors and of allometry.
The quaternary palaeogeography of this part of Africa is considered in an attempt to elucidate the present distribution of certain species.
Two former subspecies are raised to specific rank (Barbus longifilis and Barbus paucisquamatus) and one new subspecies is described (Barbus intermedius australis). Two replacement names are included; Barbus lapsus for Barbus babaulti Pellegrin 1935 and Barbus susanae for Barbus gregorii Norman 1923.
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