Visit drawing of Labeo mesops
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Labeo mesops is widely distributed through central Africa, from the Lufira River of the upper Congo system all the way to the Juba River system on the Indian Ocean coast (FishBase). FishBase reports that this minnow attains a total length of 39 cm (15.4 inches); a slightly smaller maximum size (35 cm or 13.8 inches) is reported from Lake Malawi (Jackson, 1961). In decades past, L. mesops was abundant in L. Malawi. Jackson (1961: 547) called it

However, the population status of L. mesops in L. Malawi has declined drastically in recent years. According to the FishBase account, this species is "[f]ound in shallow water over sandy bottoms. Feeds from the biocover and sediment on the sand.... Formerly very abundant in Malawi, but now rare except where rivers drain undisturbed soil. Possible that silt prevents development of eggs." Some detailed information on the growth and life history of L. mesops at Monkey Bay was published in the "gray literature" (Anon., 1964).

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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:

Last Update: 9 March 2003
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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