Welcome to the Congo Fishes LifeDesk!

Among the world’s river systems the Congo is second only to the Amazon in size and in the diversity of its fishes. The Congo Basin encompasses an area as big as Europe and harbors more than 800 described fish species. (This number excludes those species endemic to Lake Tanganyika on the eastern edge of the Basin.)  Fishes are essential components of the Congo River ecosystem and essential food and livelihood for millions of people in Central Africa. The fishes of this basin have diversified into myriad forms, evolving extraordinary adaptations for life in diverse environments such as high current, great depth, or darkness. Yet despite its economic importance and scientific value, the Congo River Basin ichthyofauna remains poorly known. Many species still await discovery and description. Of those known to science, much remains to be learned about their distribution, ecologies, life histories and evolutionary relationships.

In this LifeDesk we are assembling photos, information and bibliographic references to document this remarkable and unique fauna.  When complete, this information will make its way onto the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). Click on "Taxon Pages" to see what we've assembled so far.  If you're looking for Congo's African weakly electric fishes, see the separate Mormyridae LifeDesk.

Contributors to this LifeDesk, include faculty and students at the University of Kisangani in D.R. Congo who are participants in the Upper Congo Fishes Project

If YOU have something to contribute to this effort and would like membership in this LifeDesk, please contact John Sullivan at jpsullivan65 (at) gmail (dot) com.  Thanks for your interest!

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    Ichthyborus besse besse
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