Tuesday, December 14, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Chiloglanis msirii • A New Species of African Suckermouth Catfish (Siluriformes: Mochokidae) from the Upper Congo Basin

Chiloglanis msirii
Kashindye, Manda, Friel, Chakona & Vreven, 2021

A detailed examination of recently collected specimens of Chiloglanis from the Fungwe and Mwanza rivers and those collected during previous surveys of the Lukuga basin revealed the existence of a new species of African suckermouth catfish in the Upper Congo basin. The new species, herein described as Chiloglanis msirii, is readily distinguished from its congeners in the Congo basin by: the lack of a mid-ventral cleft on the oral disc; the possession of a single row of widely spaced mandibular teeth; and the possession of a forked caudal fin. Outside the Congo basin, the new species closely resembles C. swierstrai from which it is however readily distinguished by having a lower number of total vertebrae and a thicker caudal peduncle. Based on the examined specimens, there was no apparent evidence of sexual dimorphism in shape and size of the fins, body ornamentation, or tuberculation of the skin. This description increases the number of known species of suckermouth catfishes in the Upemba National Park (UNP) to four (C. lufirae, C. microps, C. pojeri and C. msirii). Further surveys and the use of integrative taxonomic approaches will likely uncover additional undocumented species diversity in this park. There are concerns, however, that some of this diversity might be lost even before it is formally documented, because of the excessive use of ichthyotoxins and the construction of impoundments that cause drowning of the riffles which are critical habitats for rheophilic species, particularly those in the genus Chiloglanis and other specialised groups. The present study highlights and discusses the challenges associated with fish protection in the UNP, with emphasis on the Fungwe and Mwanza rivers.

 Chiloglanis msirii

Benedicto Boniphace Kashindye, Bauchet Katemo Manda, John P. Friel, Albert Chakona and Emmanuel Vreven. 2021. Chiloglanis msirii, A New Species of African Suckermouth Catfish (Teleostei: Mochokidae), from the Upper Congo basin. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters. IEF-1158. DOI: 10.23788/IEF-1158