Morphology Data of Zaireichthys kunenensis
Identification keys
Main Ref. Eccles, D.H., D. Tweddle and P.H. Skelton, 2011
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs
Different appearance
Different colors

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section
Dorsal head profile
Type of eyes
Type of mouth/snout
Position of mouth sub-terminal/inferior
Type of scales

Diagnosis: This species differs from Zaireichthys kafuensis, Z. kavangoensis, Z. monomotapa and Z. pallidus in the possession of a relatively broad premaxillary tooth patch with postero-lateral extensions, at least 45% of the mouth width; from Z. conspicuus in pigmentation, lacking the bold blotches; and from Z. maravensis in the longer adipose fin, 4.2±0.4 in standard length vs. 6.4±0.4, and greater number of vertebrae, 37-40 vs. 33-39 (Ref. 86935).

Description: Lateral line long, extending to or beyond the adipose fin (Ref. 86935). Snout bluntly rounded, not protruding much beyond the mouth; eyes moderate; mouth slightly less than half head width; barbels moderate (Ref. 86935). Dorsal fin II,5-6; adipose fin clearly separated from procurrent rays of caudal, relatively low; caudal fin slightly emarginate with the lower lobe slightly longer than the upper and with 11-14 branched rays, 5-7 in the upper lobe and 6-7 in the lower, usually with 6 in each lobe; anal fin with 9-13 rays, the first 4-6 simple; pectoral fins with 5-7, usually 6 branched rays, the spine bearing 5-8 slender barbs; pelvics almost reaching anal fin (Ref. 86935). Premaxillary tooth patch produced postero-laterally, premaxillary teeth caniniform, tooth patch bell-shaped; 6-9 branchiostegal rays (Ref. 86935). Vertebrae 37-40 plus the ural complex, the first haemal spine on the 14th-16th, usually the 15th; ribs 6-7 pairs, a number of individuals with the ribs of the seventh vertebra reduced and occasionally with one lost; parapophyses forked basally; humeral process relatively short and pointed, directed upwards, usually ending near or before level of supraoccipital process (Ref. 86935).

Colouration: Generally similar to most other species of the genus, pale with dark brown blotches; ground colour of preserved specimens yellowish, head marbled, a series of dark patches along the dorsal surface, the most prominent below the base of the dorsal; a series of about 11 small dark spots mid-laterally and a third series of about seven spots ventro-laterally from the base of the pelvic fins to the caudal peduncle; dorsal fin greyish, with a darker spot at the end of the spine; caudal with broad dark bar basally and a dark crescentic mark about mid length; pectoral fins often with greyish shading distally; barbels often greyish (Ref. 86935).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Zaireichthys kunenensis

Lateral Lines Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only)
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 37 - 40


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes no striking attributes
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   
Spines total 2 - 2
Soft-rays total 5 - 6
Adipose fin present

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 9 - 13

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     1
Soft-rays   5 - 7
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Capuli, Estelita Emily
Modified by Boden, Gert
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17