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Localities beyond Lower Congo

1. In 2002, Robert Schelly joined a biodiversity survey in DR Congo organized by Caroly Shumway and funded by US-AID and Integrated Resources Management. Other team-members included D. Musibono, S. Ifuta, J. Sullivan, J. Punga, J.-C. Palata, and V. Puema. In addition to a short trip to the Inga region in the lower Congo rapids, fishes were collected along the main channel of the Kasai River between Bandundu and Mushie, and along the main channel of the Congo River between Mbandaka and Gombe.

2. In July 2005, Victor Mamonekene undertook a fish survey in the western Congolian swamp forests of the Lac Télé-Likouala-aux-Herbes Community Reserve. The reserve is located along the Likouala-aux-Herbes with four major tributaries; the Tanga, Mandoungouma, Bailly and Batanga. The reserve includes a diversity of aquatic habitats including swamp forest, inundated savannas and floating prairies. Fishes were collected at highwater using gill nets as the primary fishing technique.

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3. In June 2006 Victor Mamonekene joined a research group from Cornell University and collected fishes from two localities along the Lekoli River in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo. The park, which is one of the oldest in Africa, currently covers 13,600 square kilometers and incorporates a patchwork of forest and savanna.

4. In July of 2006, Robert Schelly and Raoul Monsembula participated in a WWF-funded survey of the Luilaka River in Salonga National Park, DR Congo. An outboard-equipped wooden pirogue was used for the 3 day journey upstream from Monkoto to Nkombe-Dunda, and approximately two weeks were spent collecting fishes on the return trip. Among the noteworthy discoveries was a single specimen of a highly-derived, de-pigmented, probably psammophilic catfish with superficial resemblance to leptoglanine amphiliids. Preliminary investigations suggest that the phylogenetic affinities of this unusual cafish lie with the claroteids rather than any amphiliids. Molecular and morphological investigation of this enigmatic Salonga catfish are ongoing.

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