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The genus Chiloglanis Peters 1868 is the second largest genus within the family Mochokidae, with approximately 46 valid species distributed throughout most of the tropical rivers of sub-Saharan Africa as well as the Nile River basin. Chiloglanis is also the type genus of the subfamily Chiloglanidinae (Riehl & Baensch 1991; Vigliotta 2008), which also includes Atopochilus Sauvage 1879, Euchilichthys Boulenger 1900, and Atopodontus Friel and Vigliotta 2008. Members of this subfamily are rheophilic taxa that are characterized by jaws an d lips modified into a sucker or oral disc used for adhering to and feeding upon objects in fast flowing waters. Most species of the genus Chiloglanis are relatively small fishes (<100 mm SL), and are distinguished from other members of the subfamily by several features including: the absence of a free orbital margin; the absence of a mandibular sensory canal; and 1 or 2 rows of mandibular teeth bunched in a tight bouquet at the jaw symphysis, in a more loosely distributed curved row, or rarely a tight, relatively straight row (Friel & Vigliotta 2008: Fig. 3D–F respectively), as opposed to 3 or more straight, transverse rows of mandibular teeth in all other genera within the subfamily (Friel & Vigliotta 2008: Figs. 2 & 3A–C). Additional internal features that characterize Chiloglanis are provided in Friel and Vigliotta (2008) and Vigliotta (2008). Finally, adult males of some Chiloglanis species display prominent dimorphism of the caudal fin that is species specific and often useful for identification purposes.

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