Irvineia voltae Trewavas, 1943
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Family:  Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
Max. size:  19 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater,
Distribution:  Africa: endemic to the lower Volta in Ghana (Ref. 43912, 57127).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): -1; Dorsal soft rays (total): -6; Anal soft rays: 58-68. Diagnosis: posterior (=inner) side of pectoral-fin spines strongly denticulate; 58-68 branched anal-fin rays; 16-18 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; barbels very short, nasal barbel extending to hind margin of eye; adipose fin always present; swim bladder extending backwards through a caecal appendix to above end of anal-fin base (Ref. 43912, 57127). Palatine teeth present (Ref. 57127). Posterior nostrils closer to each other than are anterior ones; 7-9 branched pelvic fin rays (Ref. 43912). Description: 12- 14 branched pectoral fin rays; 58-68 branched anal fin rays, the first 4-5 rays simple; pelvic fins with i+8 soft rays; 55-57 non-fused vertebrae; 9-12 branchiostegal rays on one side of head; caudal peduncle longer than deep; nasal barbels rather short, not reaching beyond orbit; maxillary barbel reaching at maximum to anterior border of opercle; outer mandibular barbel short and not reaching beyond posterior border of eye; inner mandibular barbels very short, rudimentary or sometimes absent; head rounded and rather narrow; lower jaw reaching anteriorly as far as snout or somewhat further (Ref. 43912). Probably most closely related to I. orientalis from the Juba-Uebi Shebeli system, from which it can be distinguished by the coarsely serrated inner side of the pectoral spine (Ref. 43912). Coloration: no observations on colour pattern in life (Ref. 57127). Preserved specimens: sides and belly pale and silvery, back and head darker; dorsal and caudal fins, as well as pectorals, lightly spotted; anal fin and pelvics unpigmented (Ref. 43912, 57127).
Biology:  Probably carnivorous, feeding at least partly on small crustaceans (Ref. 43912). Oviparous, eggs are unguarded (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 30 November 2019 (B1ab(iii)) Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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