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Comprehensive Description

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Subfamily Doumeinae

Doumein fishes are adapted for living in flowing waters through attenuation and structural modification of the axial skeleton. The vertebrae are firmly interconnected and develop expanded neural and haemal spines and bi-lateral dorso- and ventro-lateral flanges. In Phractura ZBK and other genera, these vertebral extensions are expanded and form bony plates at the body surface, and these plates interlock to form armoured ridges. The caudal peduncle is slender and bony. The mouth is reduced in size and ovoid, with papillose lips and a firm medial triangular pad separating the lips of the lower jaws. The barbels are usually short, tapered and papillose. The branchiostegal membrane is united across the ventral surface. Doumeine amphiliids are characteristic of ‘low Africa’ as defined by Roberts (1975), with two genera and seven species in the West Central African region, three of these are new.

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