Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits swamps and floodplains in well-vegetated habitats (Ref. 7248).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is widely distributed in the southern half of Africa, from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Botswana and Namibia

Central Africa: Barbus haasianus is known from the Zambian Congo and Lufirae systems. It has also been recorded from Sandoa, This species is known from upper Kasai system.

Eastern Africa: this species occurs in the Lower Shire River, Malawi

Southern Africa:It is widely distributed in the upper Zambezi system (Tweddle et al. 2004) and also in the Kafue, Okavango, Zambian Congo, Lower Zambezi and Pungwe systems (Skelton 2001).
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Africa: Okavango, upper Zambezi, Kafue, lower Zambezi and Pungwe systems (Ref. 52193). In the middle Congo basin present in the upper Lulua (Kasai drainage), in the upper Congo basin in the upper Lualaba, Luapula, (Ref. 41590), Lake Bangweulu (Ref. 41590, 42135) and Bangweulu swamps (Ref. 42135).
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Southern Africa.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8 - 9; Analspines: 2; Analsoft rays: 6
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Size

Maximum size: 32 mm SL
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Max. size

3.2 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 7248))
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Diagnostic Description

No lateral line. No barbels present on the small terminal mouth. Anal fin of the adult male elongated, sickle-shaped and can reach the tail. Eye very large.
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Ecology

Habitat

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).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Barbus haasianus is a very small benthopelagic species that is common throughout the marshes in shallow water (Tweddle and Willoughby 1979). It inhabits swamps and floodplains in well-vegetated habitats (Skelton 1993). It makes lateral movements onto floodplains to spawn as the floodwaters rise (Tweddle et al. 2004), when the males assume a rose-red colour.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater
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Trophic Strategy

Frequency of occurence in Caprivi: occasionally in standing deep water, common in shallow swamps, and common in shallow flood plains (Ref. 037065).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Barbus haasianus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Bills, R., Kazembe, J., Marshall, B., Moelants, T., Tweddle, D. & Vreven, E.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. Although there are threats known in the Luapula-Mweru region (overfishing) and in the Katanga region (mining), the species has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central and southern Africa. In east Africa, the species was regionally assessed as Vulnerable as it is restricted to the Lower Shire River in Malawi.
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Population

Population
The species is abundant and widespread and thus the populations are healthy (Tweddle et al. 2004).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Barbus haasianus is commercially important as an aquarium species. There are local threats known in the Luapula-Mweru region (overfishing) and in the Katanga region (mining).
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species has some protection in reserves, such as the Kafue National Park. Research is needed into the biology and ecology of this species, as well as monitoring of the populations.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Sickle Barb

Sickle Barb (Barbus haasianus) is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Barbus.

Footnotes

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