Analysis of body shapes among barbus trimaculatus, barbus paludinosus and barbus jacksonii (actinopterygII: cyprinidae) from Malagarasi and Pangani river basins based on geometric morphometric method

C.J. Mwita, B.G. Kamugisha


This study analyzed variability in body shapes among the small Barbus species of the family Cyprinidae currently occurring in the Malagarasi and Pangani River basins years after uplift of the east African topology. Fish specimens were collected from Songati, Muumbara and Nyamagoma within the Malagarasi River basin; Hale and Pangani fall located on Pangani River. It was found that although the landmarks were placed at the same anatomical regions, significant body shapes variations existed. The relative warps analysis for Barbus trimaculatus and Barbus jacksonii populations from Malagarasi and Pangani wetlands revealed intra-locality variations as for populations from other African countries. The Tanzanian B. trimaculatus overlapped with B. jacksonii from Kenya and Mozambique suggesting that the two species could be the same. The populations of B. jacksonii and B. trimaculatus from Tanzania and Mozambique overlapped only at some few points suggesting significant morphoshape variability. The Zambian B. trimaculatus maintained their own cluster even when compared to specimens of the same species from Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya and Tanzania, hence could be considered a separate species yet to be described.

 Key words: Morphoshape, Barbus species, geometric morphometric.

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