Diagnosis: Uniquely among congeners, Clypeobarbus breviclipeus lacks both maxillary and mandibular barbels; it further differs from all except C. bellcrossi, C. congicus and C. matthesi in possessing large pore-bearing scales in the midlateral series below the dorsal fin, vs. greatly enlarged, high and narrow, 'shield-like' scales in C. pleuropholis, C. bomokandi, C. hypsolepis, C. schoutedeni and C. pseudognathodon; it is readily distinguished from C. bellcrossi in number of scales in the lateral line, 23-24 vs. 25-28, predorsal scale number, 8 vs. 10, and the absence of a series of discrete pigment spots midlaterally along the body; it differs from . congicus in the number of circumpeduncular scale rows, 10 vs. 8, and of lateral-line scales, 23-24 vs. 20-22; and it differs from C. matthesi in number of lateral-line scales, 23-24 vs. 26-28, and body depth, 31.1-36.3% of standard length vs. 19.7-25.7% (Ref. 114247).
Description: Head and eyes large, mouth small and inferior, barbels absent (Ref. 114247). Some larger individuals with few, very small, conical tubercles visible on first infraorbital and scattered on lips, all with free neuromasts arranged in numerous sensory pit lines on snout, cheeks and dorsum of head (Ref. 114247). Occipital fontanel large, bordered laterally by frontal and parietal, and posteriorly by supraoccipital; five infraorbital bones: IO1 deepest of series, IO2-4 almost completely reduced to infraorbital canal portion of bone, IO5 completely reduced to canal; IO3 longest of series, almost twice the length of IO1 (Ref. 114247). Scales radially striated, 23-24 in lateral line, plus 1 or 2 small scales on caudal-fin base, 3.5/1/2 body rows, 10 circumpeduncular rows and 8 predorsal rows; lateral line complete, scales enlarged relative to those along impinging rows above and below; scale depth greatest below dorsal fin, but not markedly high, narrow and shield-like as in some congeners (Ref. 114247). Dorsal fin with 3 unbranched rays and 8 branched rays, positioned midway between snout and caudal-fin base, origin anterior to pelvic-fin insertion; last unbranched ray long and flexible, lacking serrations on posterior border; anal fin with 3 unbranched rays and 5 branched rays; caudal fin forked, 10+9 principal rays, 6+5 procurrent rays; pelvic fin with 1 unbranched ray and 8 branched rays; pectoral fin with 1 unbranched ray and 15-17 branched rays (Ref. 114247). Total vertebrae 31-32, 17-18 abdominal, 13-14 caudal; twelve pairs of pleural ribs on vertebral centra numbers 5 to 16; four supraneurals, between neural spines of vertebral centra numbers 4 to 8; first dorsal-fin pterygiophore between neural spines of vertebral centra numbers 8 to 9; and first anal-fin pterygiophore directed at haemal spine of vertebral centrum number 19; caudal-fin rays supported by neural and haemal spines of PU2-3, pleurostyle, single epural, parhypural and seven hypural elements presents (Ref. 114247).
Colouration: In formalin preservation, base body colouration yellowish brown, darker dorsally, becoming pale cream ventrally and over belly, cheek, and jaws; snout and dorsum of head, dark brown; prominent blotch on upper mid-portion of opercle; oblique cleithral streak located posterodorsalm to cleithrum and passing anterodorsally to top of opercle; cleithral streak variously developed, most strongly visible in specimens originally fixed in alcohol, somewhat faded in formalin fixed specimens; body scales bordered with thin margin of dark brown melanophores contrasting strongly with scale centres, which mostly lack dark pigmentation; scale borders strongest dorsally and particularly along lateral line, less clearly marked ventrally; scales at region of caudal flexion darker than preceding scales and forming a faint caudal bar; leading ray of dorsal fin darkly pigmented, leading ray of pectoral fin and intercaudal membrane with scattered melanophores, other fins colourless (Ref. 114247).