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Morphological divergence during growth in the large barbs (Barbus ssp.) of Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Nagelkerke, L.A.J.; Sibbing, F.A.; Osse, J.W.M. (1995). Morphological divergence during growth in the large barbs (Barbus ssp.) of Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Neth. J. Zool. 45(3-4): 431-454
In: Netherlands Journal of Zoology. E.J. Brill: Leiden. ISSN 0028-2960, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Fresh water

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  • Nagelkerke, L.A.J., more
  • Sibbing, F.A.
  • Osse, J.W.M.

    Recently the large lake Tana barbs (genusBarbus) were categorized into at least 13 distinct morphotypes based on large differences in general morphology, distribution and feeding habits. They are probably different populations and may even constitute a unique cyprinid species flock. This study demonstrates that 11 of the 14 morphotypes (as an additional morphotype 'Shorthead' is identified in this paper) can already be distinguished by their general external features at fork lenghts of less than 12 cm. These distinctions were verified statistical analysis of morphometric data. The destinction of the morphotypes in small specimens supports the hypothesis that several distinct Barbus species exist in Lake Tana. Knowledge of the population structure and species composition is very important for the reconstruction of the evolutionary hystory and mechanisms of this unique fish community. Moreover, in order to protect the biodiversity of the lake, it is important that the fisheries in the lake only increase on a sustaineble basis and a detailed knowledge of the fish community structure is vital to acchieve this goal.

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