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Common names:
Three Spot Barb

Taxonomic tree
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Cyprinidae (Carps)
Genus: Enteromius
Species: Enteromius perince (Rüppell, 1835)
Number of Occurrancies: 62

Etymology(based on Sharpf & Lazara 2018)

  • Enteromius: intestinal, referring to short alimentary canal of E. potamogalis

  • perince:  vernacular for this barb in the markets of Cairo, Egypt

Synonyms: click here to view synonyms

Type locality: Nile River, Egypt. Syntypes at British Museum of Natural History (BMNH) 

General idenfication features for cyprinids: A naked head (=without scales); jaws completely devoid of teeth; one or two pairs of circum-oral barbel, which are, however, absent in some species; no adipose fin; and presence of a sickle-shaped paired pharyngeal bones, each bearing 1-3 series of teeth. 

Distinguishing characters for the genus: Origin of the dorsal fin is above the pelvic fin base, or very slightly in advance of, or behind this point with no naked cheek below the eye (vs. Rastrineobola and Engraulicypris: almost entire dorsal situated above the anal fin plus the cheek below the eye covered by thin sub-orbital bones; Labeo: greater part of dorsal fin in advance of pelvic fin base plus a flap of skin immediately in front of the upper lip and ; Garra: greater part of dorsal fin in advance of pelvic fin base plus a circular disc on the chin confluent with lower lip; and Leptocypris (formerly Balilius): the greater part of the dorsal fin in advance of the anal fin plus cheek covered by sub-orbital bones). 

Distinguishing characters for species

  • Belongs to Enteromius spp. where last unbranched ray of dorsal fin is thin and flexible (others include: E. cercops, E. neglectus, E. yongei, E. radiatus, and E. magdalenae)

  • Well developed barbels (distinction from E. radiatus and E. magdalenae whose barbles are short, anterior pair sometimes absent)

  • Three dark spots on the flank (distinction from E. neglectus and E. yongei). Similar spots are present on E. jacksonii, which is restricted to Lake Victoria basin

  • The cheek has no radiating row of pits (only seen E. cercops)

  • 5-5.5 scales between lateral line and dorsal fin origin

  • Small species not known to exceed 11 cm in length

  • Depth of the body contained 2.75-3.5 times in standard length, length of the head 3-4.5 times

  • Snout rounded, shorter than the eye, which is contained 3-3.5 times in the head length

  • Mouth terminal; anterior barbels from 0.5 to as long as the eye, posterior barbels equal to, or, 1.25 times greater than eye diameter

  • Dorsal fin with III, 7-8 rays, the last unbranched ray not enlarged and not bony

  • Pelvic fin base below the first dorsal ray

  • Lateral line with 28-32 scales; 5-5.5 scales between this line and the first dorsal ray; 2-3 scales between the pelvic fins and the lateral line

  • Colour is greenish silver above, silver below. Fins pale yellow 

Taxonomic remarks: The species is commonly refered to in old literature as Barbus perince; here, we follow the currently accepted nomenclature with the small diploid species placed in genus Enteromius (Van Ginneken et al., 2017) and the large hexaploid species being placed in Labeobarbus. The later genus also includes the species of its junior synonym Varicorhinus (Vreven et al., 2016). The species resembles Enteromius jacksonii in appearence, except that E. jacksonii has more scales on the lateral line (6-39); the last unbranched ray of the dorsal fin is very strong and bony; the color is sandy above; and its distribution is restricted to Lake Victoria basin 

Distribution in Uganda: Nile River, Lakes Albert and Edward, and Kazinga channel

Occurence: Native

Habitat: Benthopelagic; also common in slow flowing streams with vegetation  

Feeding: Information is scanty, but likely feeds on insects and other small inverterbrates

Biology: Small-sized fish that rarely exceeds 11 cm. No substantial information available on breeding

Economic importance/End use

The species does not contribute to catches. 

IUCN conservation status:click here to view IUCN status

Threats: Unknown

Main references

  • Greenwood PH. 1966. The fishes of Uganda. The Uganda Society, Kampala. 131 pages.

  • Sharpf C, Lazara J.K. 2019. Fish Name Etymology Database v2.

  • Van Ginneken, M., Decru, E., Verheyen, E. and Snoeks, J. (2017). Morphometry and DNA barcoding reveal cryptic diversity in the genus Enteromius (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae) from the Congo basin, Africa. European Journal of Taxonomy. 310:1–32.

  • Vreven, E.J.W.M.N., Musschoot, T., Snoeks, J. and Schliewen, U.K. (2016). The African hexaploid Torini (Cypriniformes: Cyprinidae): review of a tumultuous history. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 177:231–305

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Natugonza, V. & Musinguzi, L. (editors) 2021. Freshwater Biodiversity Portal for Uganda., version (01/2021).


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