Garra dembeensis (Rüppell, 1835)
Dembea stone lapper
photo by de Vos, L.

Family:  Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps), subfamily: Labeoninae
Max. size:  11 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic,
Distribution:  Africa: widespread with presence in East Africa, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania, as well as in Cameroon, Nigeria and Tchad (Ref. 2801, 2940, 58532, 81282, 81639). Presence in the Congo basin (Ref. 11970, 41590, 41594, 106290, 120641) not confirmed in Ref. 58532.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-11; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 9-9. Diagnosis: Garra dembeensis is distinguished from African congeners by the following combination of features: well-developed disc; between 0 and 4 predorsal scales anterior to dorsal fin; asquamate chest, belly and postpelvic region; intestine of medium length; ad moderately sized gas bladder (Ref. 58532). Description: Body relatively gracile, greatest body depth located at level of pelvic-fin tips (Ref. 58532, 81639). Head gracile and moderately depressed, often with small circular tubercles in front of nostrils, becoming tubular beneath eyes; eyes positioned medially on head (Ref. 58532, 81639). Dorsal head profile rises steeply over snout, then smoothly rounded, more-or-less contiguous with dorsal body profile and smoothly convex to dorsal-fin origin (Ref. 58532). Disc usually well-developed with a wide free posterior margin and abundant papillae on lower lip and over disc periphery; however, disc development displays considerable variation with some individuals bearing an almost intermediate disc with little papillation over disc periphery, and the disc has free lateral, as well as posterior, margins and is never as weakly developed as in type-A discs; rostral cap well developed, extending ventrally over upper jaw and with weakly invecked ventral margin (Ref. 58532, 81282, 81639). Two pairs of barbels; maxillary barbels usually slightly longer than rostral pair; both smaller than eye diameter (Ref. 58532, 81282, 81639). Between 36 and 39 scales along lateral line; between 0 and 4 predorsal scales anterior to dorsal fin; 3.5-4.5 scales from lateral line to origin of pelvic fin; 3.5-5.5 scales from lateral line to dorsal-fin origin; belly and chest asquamate; postpelvic region usually asquamate, although occasionally with either 1 or 2 deeply embedded scales present (Ref. 58532, 81639). Between 12 and 14 circumpeduncular scales (Ref. 81639). Dorsal fin with iii-iv,7 rays, inserted well anterior to pelvic fin, with short subacuminate tip, first and second unbranched rays longest; anal fin with iv,5 rays, with subacuminate tip; pectoral fin with iv,11-12 rays, its length 15.1-23.9% of standard length, with somewhat pointed tips (Ref. 58532, 81639). Predorsal length 44.0-52.0% of standard length (Ref. 58532). Vent located relatively distant from anal fin (Ref. 58532, 81639). Colouration: In preservation it is variable, but most specimens are from medium to dark brown over most of the head and body, with some slight lightening ventrally; ventral surface of head and body usually a deep creamy yellow-brown (Ref. 58532, 81639). Dorsal-fin pigmentation variable, either with or without a well-marked submarginal black band; between 2 and 4 large black spots between rays in basal membrane of dorsal fin; anal fin usually with broad submarginal band of dusky brown pigment; caudal fin pale dusky grey-brown; median rays often a slightly darker brownish grey; pelvic and pectoral fins dark brownish-grey with pale leading edges (Ref. 58532). Prominent black pigmentation at the base and the middle of dorsal fin (Ref. 81639).
Biology:  Commonly found in rapid parts of rivers and also on wave-washed rocky shores of Lake Victoria (Ref. 4903). Adheres to stones in swift water (Ref. 28714). Feeds on epilithic algae and lithophilic insects (Ref. 12526), scraped from the surface of rocks (Ref. 4903).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 30 October 2015 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Cruz, Tess - 24.03.92
Modified by: Geelhand, Dimitri - 29.10.15
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 29.06.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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