Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Lives in well-vegetated quiet waters or near submerged trees or rocks in the lee of the river’s main current, lunging out to capture prey (Ref. 5614). Juveniles occur mainly in lagoons and secondary channels (Ref. 7248, 94654), while adults prefer deep main channels and permanent lagoons (Ref. 7248). Large specimens patrol open water of rivers and lakes, never very far from shore (Ref. 246). Predator on fish but also feeds on aquatic and terrestrial insects, shrimps and small crabs (Ref. 13337). Adults often feed on squeakers (Ref. 7248, 13337, 94654). Mouthbrooder (Ref. 246, 13337, 13721) and multiple spawner (Ref. 13337). Constructs shallow nest on sandy or muddy substrate in shallow water (Ref. 13337). Reported to have adverse impact on native fish species in Zimbabwe (Ref. 94654).
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Distribution

Range Description

This subspecies is known from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Namibia and Botswana.

Central Africa: Serranochromis robustus jallae is known from the Luapula-Mweru system, from the Lualaba and from the Kasai.

Southern Africa: It is found in the upper Zambezi, Okavango, Kafue and Zambian Congo systems. Its native range in Zimbabwe is the Zambezi River above Victoria Falls although two specimens were taken in Lake Kariba in 1968 (Balon 1974) and some were stocked in 1975 (Kenmuir 1983). It has been widely translocated by anglers in Zimbabwe and could be expected in almost any river or impoundments on the central plateau.
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Africa: Cunene River; Okovango River; upper Zambezi River, Kafue River, middle Zambezi River including the Luangwa River; Luapula-Moero, Lualaba (upper Congo River basin) and Kasai (middle Congo River basin). Translocated to localities in Zimbabwe, to the Limpopo River and Natal, South Africa.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

39.6 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5693))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Serranochromis robustus jallae is a demersal subspecies that mainly feeds on small fish, including squeakers (Synodontis spp.), insects and other small animals (Jackson 1961). Larger specimens prefer deeper water close to the bank, both in quiet water in eddies and also in strong current where the bank is being undercut. Smaller specimens are widespread including vegetation fringing the main channels,open and closed lagoons, and small tributaries (Skelton 2001; Tweddle et al. 2004). In its introduced range it occurs in streams and impoundments with varying characteristics. This subspecies incubates the eggs in the mouth. It breeds in summer, nesting along vegetated fringes of the mainstream. Winemiller (1991) classified the subspecies as a river-dwelling, epibenthic, diurnal piscivore.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; freshwater
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Trophic Strategy

Frequency of occurence in Caprivi: frequently in sandy streams, common in standing deep water, occasionally in shallow swamps (Ref. 037065).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Incubates eggs in the mouth. Constructs a shallow concave nest on a sandy or muddy substrate in fairly shallow water.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Laly, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.

Contributor/s

Justification
Although there are localised threats, this subspecies has a wide distribution. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central and southern Africa.
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Population

Population
It is common and widespread.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Mining in the Katanga region for cobalt, copper, tin, uranium, dams and the use of toxic plants for fishing and overfishing form threats in this region. Artisanal, but very intensively diamond mining is a very important threat in small rivers in the Kasai region. The sand from digging in the river and the river beds causes sedimentation. Localised fishing effort depletes adult populations.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Since 2007 it has been prohibited to fish in Lake Mweru and the Luapula River on the Congolese site of the border. In Zambia, there is the Kasanka National Park around Lake Bangweulu. The fines didnt work in this region. Even scientific collections were stopped. The government has burned 10,000 nets after measuring the nets. The governor (Morris Katunge) has paid the fishermen. Since 1st of May 2008, fishing was allowed again, but with controlled mesh sizes. The subspecies also has some protection in the Okavango Delta reserves.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
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