New dwarf barb described


A new species of dwarf barb has been described from Benin in West Africa.

The new tropical fish, which has been named Barboides britzi, after Dr Ralf Britz of the Natural History Museum, was found in the Oueme River basin in southern Benin, where it was collected from the permanently flooded Lokoli forest.

The tiny yellow fish is only the second species to be described from the Barboides genus and reaches less than a couple of centimetres in length.

The other member of the genus, Barboides gracilis, was described by Bruning in 1929 and is found in Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.

As museum data on Practical Fishkeeping's Fish Mapper shows, Barboides gracilis is found over a wide area of West Africa and has also gone under other names, including Raddabarbus camerunensis and Barbus lorenzi, after other scientists mistakenly described fish that had already been named.

Kevin Conway and Timo Moritz, who described the new species in the latest issue of Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, say that B. britzi can be told apart from gracilis by its bigger head, smaller, silver eye, yellow body colour and the absense of black speckles on the flanks.

For more details on the new species see the paper: Conway, KW and T Moritz (2006) - Barboides britzi, a new species of miniature cyprinid from Benin (Ostariophysi: Cyprinidae) with a neotype designation for B. gracilis. Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters, Vol. 17, No 1. pp 73-84.