Skull proportions of Barbus canis individuals drastically change during their life. Yearlings have skull proportions characteristic for barbs of the NEC phenetic group (sensu Mina et al. 2001 Environ. Biol. Fish. 61: 242–252), but with age become similar to those of the Lake Tana large-mouthed morphotypes which acquire their specific features at 3–7 years old while at earlier ages they have skull proportions of a NEC form identified as ‘intermedius’ sensu Nagelkerke et al. (1994 Environ. Biol. Fish. 39: 1–21). The large-mouthed Lake Tana barbs originated from an ancestral NEC form through peramorphosis, but in relation to B. canis they are paedomorphic in skull proportions. B. canis supposedly originated from a NEC form as a consequence of an adaptive radiation that took place in western Asia.