Varicorhinus is a freshwater fish of the carp family. It is distributed mainly throughout Africa and in some other regions. It inhabits the rivers of the western coast of the Caspian Sea, the upper reaches of the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya. Forms several subspecies. Length up to 50 cm, weight up to 1.5 kg. Occupies rivers or their sections with fast currents. Matures in the third year. Spawns in portions in May-June. Lithophile. Fecundity 7.0-32.7 thousand eggs. Feeds on detritus and aquatic vegetation. Of local commercial importance.
Highly specialised scrapers with a lower and wide mouth, the lower jaw of which is covered with a sharp-cutting keratinous pouch for scraping periphyton. The fish is characterised by a very long intestine, exceeding 5-10 times the body length. Usually Varicorhinus are also characterised by an increased number of gill stamens for filtering food. In these fish, the lining of the peritoneum is usually dark or black in colour.
Varicorhinus are herbivores, feeding mainly on lower algae. Eggs are laid on stony or sandy bottoms. Eggs are up to 4mm in diameter.