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Pseudobarbus is a ray-finned fish genus in the family Cyprinidae. The type species is Burchell's Redfin (P. burchelli). The scientific name is derived from the Ancient Greek pseudes ("false") and the Latin word barbus ("beard", in reference to the barbels of barbs). This genus contains some (and might contain all) of the South African redfins. It was originally proposed as a subgenus but has since been found worthy of recognition as a full genus.

Pseudobarbus burchelli, Jan du Toit's River, a.jpg
Burchell's redfin (Pseudobarbus burchelli) from the Breede catchment
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Cypriniformes
Family: Cyprinidae
Subfamily: Barbinae
Genus: Pseudobarbus
A. Smith, 1841
Type species
Barbus burchelli
Smith, 1841

15 species, see text

This genus is restricted to southern Africa; all of its species were formerly placed in Barbus, the genus of typical barbels and their relatives. One taxon was originally described as P. leonhardi – this, however, was a European fish for which the genus was erroneously proposed anew. It has since turned out to be nothing other than the barbel B. peloponnesius.[1]


Species and systematicsEdit

Pseudobarbus was placed in the paraphyletic "subfamily" Barbinae by those that recognize that group. But if not included in the Cyprininae outright it might – like the other small African barbs – belong to an as yet unnamed subfamily.[2]

There are currently 15 recognized species in this genus:

Some South Africa "redfin" barb were previously placed in Barbus, mainly due to a lack of taxonomic and systematic study of that huge "wastebin genus". They formed a clade distinct from the traditional Pseudobarbus and were more plesiomorphic. Certainly, they did not belong in the typical barbel:[2]


  1. ^ FishBase [2009]
  2. ^ a b de Graaf et al. (2007)
  3. ^ Chakona, A. & Swartz, E.R. (2013): A new redfin species, Pseudobarbus skeltoni (Cyprinidae, Teleostei), from the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Zootaxa, 3686 (5): 565–577.
  4. ^ Chakona, A., Swartz, E.R. & Skelton, P.H. (2014): A new species of redfin (Teleostei, Cyprinidae, Pseudobarbus) from the Verlorenvlei River system, South Africa. ZooKeys, 453: 121–137.


  • de Graaf, Martin; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; Samallo, Johannis & Sibbing, Ferdinand A. (2007): Evolutionary origin of Lake Tana's (Ethiopia) small Barbus species: indications of rapid ecological divergence and speciation. Anim. Biol. 57(1): 39–48. doi:10.1163/157075607780002069 (HTML abstract)
  • Swartz, E. & Impson, D. (2007). "Pseudobarbus burgi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 September 2009.

External linksEdit