The riverine fishes of Burundi (East Central Africa)
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Unlike the work devoted to Lake Tanganyika, the Burundese riverine ichthyofauna has received far less attention during the earliest freshwater explorations. Based on a thorough literature search, an overview of the specimen holdings available in various natural history museums, and new collecting efforts undertaken in the Upper Malagarazi and the Rusizi River basin (Burundi), a checklist of the riverine fishes of Burundi was compiled. A total of 16 riverine fish families containing at least 112 fish species including 11 introduced and/or translocated species and at least 18 endemic species was reported for the country. With 36 species, the family Cyprinidae is by far the largest, followed by the families Cichlidae (17), Clariidae (nine), Mormyridae (eight) and Mochokidae (seven), the remaining families being represented by only five or less species. The riverine fishes of Burundi consist of a mixture of fish fauna's belonging to different ichthyofaunal units reflecting the two river systems to which the Burundese hydrographic network belongs, i.e. the Congo and the Nile System sensu lato. Their distribution highlights the differences in species richness between these two main river systems, with the Congo system component being more species rich compared to the relatively species poor Nile system component. The Upper Malagarazi, which belongs to the Congo system, represents one of the Burundese riverine fish diversity hotspot with 75 species all native. Indeed, a new species, Barbus devosi from the Malagarazi basin was recently described and three new species were found in there, including 'Barbus' sp. "ascutelatus", Chiloglanis sp. "musasae" and Clariallabes sp. "nyaruhandazi", the description of which are currently underway. Some taxa such as the catfish genus Synodontis (Mochokidae) and the haplochromine cichlids require further taxonomic attention; their actual species numbers are certainly underestimated.
CitationBanyankimbona, G.; Vreven, E.; Ntakimazi, G.; Snoeks, J. (2013). The riverine fishes of Burundi (East Central Africa). , Fifth International Conference of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA5),