Teleostei (teleosts) > Cypriniformes
(Carps) > Cyprinidae
(Minnows or carps) > Labeoninae
Etymology: Labeo: Latin, labeo = one who has large lips (Ref. 45335); mesops: From the Greek word mesos meaning middle or half and opsis meaning sight; name refers to the state of the type material which was only half of the skin (Ref. 26190).
More on author: Günther.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical
Africa: present in Lake Malawi basin (Ref. 52161, 55909, 96560), Juba system (1440) and Ruvuma River (Ref. 1440, 97286). Status Tana River population is uncertain (Ref. 52331). Reports from the Lufira River, Upper Congo River basin (Ref. 1440, 26190), are misidentifications of Labeo rosae (Ref. 96560).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 33.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 39.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2801)
Found in shallow water over sandy bottoms (Ref. 5595, 52161). Is a mud-feeder (Ref. 52161), feeds from the biocover and sediment on the sand (Ref. 5595). Also caught using weirs and baskets; formerly very abundant in Malawi, but now rare except where rivers drain undisturbed soil; possible that silt prevents development of eggs (Ref. 4967). Indications that it may leave the lake and run up rivers to spawn (Ref. 52161).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawns in small, muddy wet season rivers leading to swampy dambos (Ref. 2781). Holds its spawn until the rivers flood.
Tshibwabwa, S.M., 1997. Systématique des espèces africaines du genre Labeo (Teleostei, Cyprinidae) dans les régions ichtyogéographiques de Basse-Guinée et du Congo. I. Presses Universitaires de Namur, Namur, Belgique. 302 p. (Ref. 26190)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00891 (0.00410 - 0.01937), b=3.05 (2.87 - 3.23), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 187 [52, 326] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.926 [0.548, 1.671] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.3 [15.4, 17.2] % ; Omega3 = 0.418 [0.163, 1.162] g/100g ; Selenium = 305 [114, 870] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 20.6 [7.7, 57.4] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.64 [0.88, 3.32] mg/100g (wet weight);