Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Amphiliidae
(Loach catfishes) > Leptoglanidinae
Etymology: Zaireichthys: Composed form Zaire river + Greek,ichtys = fish; the habitat of this fish (Ref. 45335); monomotapa: Named after the historical Kingdom of Monomotapa, 'Monomotapa' being the old Portuguese spelling; this encompassed the area currently occupied by Mozambique and Zimbabwe and thus almost all of the distribution of this species (Ref. 86935).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 3.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 86935); 4.1 cm SL (female)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 10 - 12;
Vertebrae: 35 - 38. This species is distinguished from Z. conspicuus, Z. lacustris and Z. maravensis in the narrow premaxillary tooth patch and the long lateral line (extending beyond base of anal fin); from Z. kunenensis in a narrower premaxillary tooth patch and the greater number of branched caudal rays (14-16 cf. 11-14); from Z. kavangoensis in a longer lateral line, extending beyond anal fin and usually past adipose cf. above anterior to middle of anal fin; from Z. kafuensis and Z. pallidus in the longer lateral line and the greater number of caudal rays (14-16 cf. 9-13) and pectoral-fin rays (7-8 cf. 5-7) (Ref. 86935). Ground colour pale brownish; head brownish; a series of darker bars across the dorsal surface of the body, often with paler centres on the lateral parts; about eight dark patches, often elongated, mid-laterally along the flanks, the first below the dorsal fin and the last at the end of the caudal peduncle; a third series of small faint spots ventro-laterally from above the pelvic to the caudal peduncle (Ref. 86935).
Africa: widespread in the tributaries of the middle and lower Zambezi River, and the Pungwe, Buzi and Save river basins; also tributaries of Lake Malawi (Ref. 86935, 94654).
Live in flowing water with a sandy substrate; can be very abundant in suitable habitats; bury themselves in sand leaving only the head exposed and snap food particles such as minute aquatic animals; produce about 12-16 large eggs which suggests some form of parental care (Ref. 94654)
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Eccles, D.H., D. Tweddle and P.H. Skelton, 2011. Eight new species in the dwarf catfish genus Zaireichthys (Siluriformes: Amphiliidae). Smithiana Bull. (13):3-28. (Ref. 86935)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00389 (0.00180 - 0.00842), b=3.12 (2.94 - 3.30), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months ().
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .