Clarias/Clariallabes sp. «kundelungu"(Siluriformes: Clariidae), a new species from the Kundelungu National Park (DR Congo)?
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During an expedition to the Kundelungu National Park (KNP) in September 2012 within the framework of the CTB-PRODEPAAK project, a Clariidae species was collected from the Lofoi River system (1392-1421m altitude) upstream of the 384m high Lofoi Falls. The species could not be placed unequivocally in either Clarias Scopoli, 1777 or Clariallabes Boulenger, 1900. In fact, the species corresponds best to the definition of Allabenchelys Boulenger, 1902, currently a junior synonym of Clariallabes Boulenger, 1900 following Teugels (1986), due to the following combination of characters: (1) reduced lateral skull bones with no contact between the infraorbital IV (behind the orbit) and the suprapreopercular bone;(2) eyes with a free margin and as such surrounded by a furrow; and (3) unpaired fins not confluent. However, these features are also found in some species of the genus Clarias. Although no Clariallabes species are known from the Upper Lualaba and the Luapula-Moero, two species, Clariallabes centralis (Poll &Lambert, 1958) and Clariallabes laticeps (Steindachner, 1911), have been reported from the Lower Lualaba. The Kundelungu specimens clearly differ from the former because of the absence of serrations on the posterior side of the pectoral spine, and from the latter because of the absence of white spots on the body. Seven valid Clarias species are recognized from the Upper Lualaba and Luapula-Moero (Teugels, 1986). However only two, i.e. C. dumerilii and C. liocephalus, both belonging to the subgenus Brevicephaloides, are similar to our specimens in having a pectoral spine serrated on its anterior side only. The possible new species differs, amongst others, from C. liocephalus by the open gap in-between the infraorbitale IV and the suprapreopercular, even in large specimens. Although Clarias /Clariallabes sp. "kundelungu" does resemble C. dumerilli, it nevertheless differs from it by the lack of the diagnostic lateral notch on the suprapreopercular.
CitationKasongoilunga, K.M.; Abwe, E.; Chochamanda, A.; Musschoot, T.; Snoeks, J.; Vreven, E. (2013). Clarias/Clariallabes sp. «kundelungu"(Siluriformes: Clariidae), a new species from the Kundelungu National Park (DR Congo)?. , Fifth International Conference of the Pan African Fish and Fisheries Association (PAFFA5),