Caecobarbus geertsii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Caecobarbus geertsii
Species Authority: Boulenger, 1921
Common Name(s):
English African blind barb, African Blind Barb Fish, Congo Blind Barb, Congo blind barb (FB)
French Barbu Aveugle, Poisson Cavernicole D'Afrique
Caecobarbus geertsi Boulenger, 1921

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-16
Assessor(s): Moelants, T.
Reviewer(s): Brummett, R., Mbe Tawe, A.N., Dening Touokong, C., Reid, G.M., Snoeks, J. Staissny, M., Moelants, T., Mamonekene, V., Ndodet, B., Ifuta, S.N.B., Chilala, A., Monsembula, R., Ibala Zamba, A., Opoye Itoua, O., Pouomogne, V., Darwall, W. & Smith, K.
Sedimentation flowing into the caves poses the main threat to Caecobarbus geertsi. At least one cave is known to be used as a quarry. The species is known from more than five but fewer than 10 locations. The EOO and AOO are estimated to be far less than the criteria for the Vulnerable status, but the estimated number of locations restrict the assessment possibilities for this species to the Vulnerable status.
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Caecobarbus geertsi is only known from the Mbanzagungu caves (Thysville) (circa 5°S, 15°E), Lower Congo River basin (Lévêque and Daget 1984). The international trade is restricted (CITES II, since 6.6.1981).
Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information available.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Caecobarbus geertsi is a benthopelagic species. It is a blind fish which lives in caves (700 m above sea-level) (Lévêque and Daget 1984) and feeds on small crustaceans living in the caves and also on animals washed into the caves (Wheeler 1977). Caecobarbus geertsi is not closely related to any extant epigean species of the Congo region. It is classified as `textbook and popular press fish' in Robins et al. 1991. Eggs are expelled in a more or less haphazard fashion, the substrate on which the species spawns must have crevices and pores into which the adhesive eggs can roll and be hidden so to prevent predation by its parents or other cave inhabitants.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Natural and agricultural sedimentation, toxicity and habitat destruction (caves that collapse) form threats for this species. Sedimentation flowing into the caves poses the main threat to the species. At least one cave is known to be used as a quarry.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known.

Citation: Moelants, T. 2010. Caecobarbus geertsii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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