Friday 24 May
Barbus (Barbus profundus)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Barbus fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Barbus profundus is a little-known freshwater fish that is found only in Lake Victoria, East Africa. This enigmatic fish was once considered conspecific with the more widespread Barbus radiatus. However, it is now considered a separate species due to morphological differences, including a lack of barbels and a more deeply-forked tail fin (3).
- Barbus radiatus.
- Length: up to 5.9 cm (2)
FishBase - Barbus profundus:
- Fleshy projections near the mouth of some aquatic vertebrates.
- Belonging to the same species.
- Diverse group of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton, characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, woodlice and barnacles.
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- A process in which a water body is enriched with excessive nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) resulting in the excessive growth of aquatic plants and the depletion of oxygen, creating unfavourable conditions for other organisms, such as fish.
- A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.
- Referring to the visible or measurable characteristics of an organism.
- Animals with a backbone, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.
IUCN Red List (June, 2011)
FishBase - Barbus profundus (June, 2011)
- Stewart, D.J. (1977) Geographic variation of Barbus radiatus Peters, a widely distributed African cyprinid fish. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 1: 113-125.
- Tweddle, D. et al. (2006) Occurrence of Barbus profundus Greenwood 1970 (Telostei: Cyprinidae) in mid-water in Lake Victoria. African Journal of Aquatic Science, 31: 155-157.
- Campbell, A. and Dawes, J. (2004) Encyclopedia of Underwater Life. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Thieme, M.L. (2005) Freshwater ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: a conservation assessment. WWF, Washington DC.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Barbus profundus is a little-studied species, and there is very little information available on its biology and behaviour.
Cyprinidae species usually have quite a diverse diet, and Barbus profundus is likely to feed on a variety of insects, crustaceans, molluscs and some plant material. Members of the Cyprinidae family lack teeth in the jaws, but most have a pair of enlarged bones in the throat which possess structures known as ‘pharyngeal teeth’, used to process food (5).Top
Barbus profundus is classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake and the second largest freshwater lake in the world, has undergone major environmental changes over the last century. An increase in fishing pressure, the introduction of exotic species and an increasing human pollution have all contributed to the degradation of the lake’s unique habitats and biodiversity (1) (6).
Commercial fishing began to increase from the 1930s, and by the 1960s most stocks of native fish in Lake Victoria had been greatly depleted. This led to the introduction of numerous exotic fish species, including the Nile perch which now dominates the lake, to increase the number of species available to commercial fisheries. However, many of these introduced species preyed upon native fish, contributing to one of the greatest modern extinctions of vertebrate species, with some 200 endemic cichlid species becoming extinct (1) (6).
The increasing human population around the shores of Lake Victoria is also contributing to the degradation of the waters. Over the last 20 years in particular, agriculture and urbanisation has intensified, leading to an increase in pollution of the lake, as untreated sewage often pours directly into the water. Textile and leather tanning factories, as well as breweries and paper mills, have also recently been developed along the lake’s shoreline, putting further pressure on the delicate ecosystem. As a result of this pollution, the oxygen content of many lake habitats is so low that they are now deemed uninhabitable for wildlife. The increase in commercial fisheries has also caused an increase in deforestation along the shoreline, as trees are felled to provide wood to smoke the fish before being traded, eventually leading to sedimentation and eutrophication (1) (6).Top
Barbus profundus has not been the target of any known conservation measures. However, due to the prevalence of threats to the waters of Lake Victoria, there is increasing concern that habitat loss and degradation is negatively impacting the populations of this endemic fish. Therefore, there is a need for studies to determine the distribution, status and ecology of Barbus profundus, so that informed conservation measures may be implemented (1).Top
Find out more
Find out more about Barbus profundus:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.