Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cypriniformes
(Carps) > Cyprinidae
(Minnows or carps) > Labeoninae
Etymology: Labeo: Latin, labeo = one who has large lips (Ref. 45335); altivelis: From the Latin altus meaning high and velum meaning veil, name refers to the dorsal fin (Ref. 26190). More on author: Peters.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 13°S - 22°S
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 27.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 49.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5309); max. published weight: 3.6 kg (Ref. 7248); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 7248)
Africa: lower and the middle reaches of the Zambezi River system, including the Shire and Lake Malawi. Also in Lake Mweru and the Luapula (upper Congo River basin)(Ref. 26190). Range thought to extend to some East Coast rivers (Rufiji system) (Ref. 1440).
Prefers large rivers but is also found in large lakes and dams. Grazes on algae and `aufwuchs' from rocks (Ref. 7248). From October to December in Lake Moëro, the adults gather and migrate to the spawning grounds. They go up the Luapula River up to the foot of Johnston Falls where they undergo one massive spawning between January and March. This massive spawning of short duration is known as kapata in the Luapula-Moëro system and in the tributaries of the Luapula. This species is intensely fished and caviar is produce from eggs collected during migration from Lake Moëro to Luapula River (Ref. 26190).
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00891 (0.00419 - 0.01893), b=3.05 (2.85 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=9).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (49 of 100) .