Barbus eutaenia, a cyprinid
found in Lake Malawi; illustration from Skelton (1993), used by permission
of P.H. Skelton
The "Orangefin barb," Barbus eutaenia, is a small, primarily riverine barb found in Lake Malawi, but widely distributed from the Congo to Mozambique and south to South Africa; it is also recorded from another lake, L. Mweru (FishBase). Although FishBase does not document its occurrence in Malawi, there are two Christy specimens from Deep Bay, Malawi (on Lake Malawi) in the British Museum (Worthington, 1933: 304; Jackson, 1961: 549).

According to information summarized at FishBase, B. eutaenia "[f]avors clear-flowing waters, usually headwater streams with rocky habitats. Feeds on insects.... Known to ascend tributaries and move only onto floodplains in rainy season." It reaches 14 cm (5.5 inches) SL.

In the Lake Malawi fauna, this barb is most similar to B. macrotaenia, which also has a straight (not arched) midlateral black stripe. The two can be distinguished as follows: in B. eutaenia the last simple (unbranched) ray of the dorsal fin is enlarged and bony, constituting a strong spine that is serrated along its posterior edge; in B. macrotaenia this ray is, at most, feebly enlarged and not spinelike or serrated (Jackson, 1961: 595; Worthington, 1933: 305-6). In both species the black midlateral stripe continues in front of the eye onto the snout.

The above color painting by Dave Voorvelt is copyright © by the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (formerly known as the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology). It is reproduced here from Skelton (1993) with the kind permission of Prof. P.H. Skelton.

The additional black & white illustration of B. eutaenia below, by Hilda M. Jubb, is from Jubb (1967) and is used here with the kind permission of Mr. A. T. Balkema of A. A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam.

Barbus eutaenia, a cyprinid
found in Lake Malawi; illustration from Jubb (1967), used by permission
of A. A. Balkema Publishers

Visit drawing of Barbus eutaenia
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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:  MalawiCichlids.com

Last Update: 13 October 2000
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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