Interrelationships of the two specialized scraping periphyton-feeders, Varicorhinus beso and V. jubae, and some large African barbs, Labeobarbus spp., inhabiting three main regions of Ethiopia (theWestern and Eastern Plateaus, and the Rift Valley separating them) were investigated using the sequence analysis of a fragment (609 base pairs) of the mtDNA control region. The two scraping forms in question appeared to be phylogenetically distant: V. beso had branched off before the main radiation of the Ethiopian Labeobarbus took place, whereas V. jubae is a sister group of the Labeobarbus gananensis complex sympatrically occurring with it in the south of the Eastern Plateau. For geographical reasons, among the congeneric species, V. jubae could be considered as the most closely related to V. beso, the type species of the genus, but judging from the available data this genus seems to be monotypic, while jubae should be classified as a member of Labeobarbus.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2