Central Africa: Labeo altivelis is known from the upper Congo River and the Luapula-Mweru region and Lake Bangweulu of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Reid 1985).
Eastern Africa: It occurs in the Lower Shire River, Malawi.
Southern Africa: This species is present in the lower and middle Zambezi, Pungwe, Save and Buzi Rivers in Mozambique, and the Zambian Congo.
Zambezi River Benthopelagic Habitat
This taxon is one of a number of benthopelagic species in the Zambezi River system of southern Africa. Benthopelagic river fish are found near the bottom of the water column, feeding on benthos and zooplankton
Nutrient levels in the Zambezi River are relatively low, especially in the upper Zambezi; in that reach, above Victoria Falls, most of the catchment drains Kalahari sands, whose nutrient levels are inherently low due to their aeolian formation; moreover, agricultural fertilizer addition throughout the Zambezi watershed is low, due to the shortage of capital available to farmers of this region.
Nitrate levels (as nitrogen) in the upper Zambezi are typically in the range of .01 to .03 milligrams per liter. Correspondingly electrical conductivity of the upper Zambezi is on the order of 75 micro-S per centimeter, due to the paucity of ion content. From the Luangwa River downstream nitrate levels elevate to .10 to .18 milligrams per liter, and electrical conductivity rises to a range of two to four times the upper Zambezi levels. Not surprisingly, pH, calcium ion concentration, bicarbonate and electrical conductivity are all higher in portions of the catchment where limestone soils predominate compared to granite.
There are a total of 190 known fish species present in the Zambezi River, including eel and shark taxa. The largest native benthopelagic fish in the Zambezi are the 170 cm North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), the 146 cm common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio), the 150 cm Indo-Pacific tarpon (Megalops cyprinoides) and the introduced 120 cm rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).
Habitat and Ecology
Known prey organisms
Based on studies in:
Africa, Lake McIlwaine (Lake or pond)
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
The rednose labeo (Labeo altivelis) is a species of fish in the family Cyprinidae, the carps and minnows. Other common names include Hunyani labeo, Manyame labeo, rednose mudsucker, and sailfin mudsucker. It is native to Africa, where it is distributed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
This fish is about 27 centimeters long at maturity. It has been known to reach 49 centimeters in length and 3.6 kilograms in weight. Its maximum reported age is nine years.
This species is widely distributed in several African river systems and lakes, including the Congo, Luapala, Shire, Zambezi, Pungwe, Save, and Buzi Rivers and Lakes Mweru and Bangweulu. It is potamodromous, undertaking a migration through the river systems and into tributaries during the rainy season. In some areas, such as the Shire River of Malawi, it leaves the swollen rivers and swims out onto the floodplains, where it spawns.
This is a food fish of seasonal commercial importance in some parts of its range. Its spawning events, known locally as kapata, can involve large aggregations of adult fish. During the spawning migration, many fish gather in the shallows of the floodplains, where they are easy to catch. The eggs are also collected for caviar. Overfishing occurs in some areas, and the resource is managed by some governments.
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