Microsynodontis Boulenger

Heok Hee Ng, 2004, The Microsynodontis (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Mochokidae) of the lower Guinea region, west central Africa, with the description of eight new species., Zootaxa 531, pp. 1-52: 2

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Microsynodontis Boulenger


[[ Genus Microsynodontis Boulenger  ZBK  ]]

The genus Microsynodontis  ZBK  is restricted to the rivers of western Africa (from the Saint Paul River drainage south and east to the Congo River drainage), and is comprised of small mochokid catfishes diagnosed by the following synapomorphies: a narrow mesethmoid, lack of free orbital margin, transverse ventral fold of branchiostegal membranes, slender cleithral process, and a rounded or truncate caudal fin (Howes, 1980).

Currently, there are four nominal species of Microsynodontis  ZBK  , viz. M. batesii Boulenger, 1903  ZBK  , M. christyi Boulenger, 1920  ZBK  , M. lamberti Poll & Gosse, 1963  ZBK  and M. polli Lambert, 1958  ZBK  . Microsynodontis christyi  ZBK  has been considered a junior synonym of M. batesii  ZBK  (fide Matthes, 1964), but is a valid species. The freshwater ichthyofauna of the lower Guinea region (here defined as the portion of west central Africa delineated by the Cross River drainage to the north and the Chiloango River drainage to the south; fide Roberts, 1975) is one of the least explored in Africa (Teugels & Guégan, 1994). Microsynodontis batesii  ZBK  is the only species known from there.

While preparing an account of Microsynodontis  ZBK  for a forthcoming publication on the fishes of the lower Guinea region (Ng, in prep.), it was found that material from the region previously identified as M. batesii  ZBK  consisted of nine distinct species, eight of which are undescribed. This study reviews the Microsynodontis  ZBK  of the lower Guinea region, with the eight new species described herein.