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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in river mouths and muddy inshore areas (Ref. 2847, 37816), often in mangrove areas (Ref. 48635). Adults are coastal inhabitants found on soft bottoms, usually between depths of 10-70 meters. Juveniles are commonly found in mangrove estuaries and tidal creeks, sometimes entering the lower reaches of freshwater streams (Ref. 44894). Adults move in schools. Frequently ascend into freshwater reaches of rivers (Ref. 12693). Active by day (Ref. 12693). Feed on polychaetes, small crustaceans, small fishes (Ref. 30573) and worms (Ref. 12693). Important food fish in the tropics (Ref. 4376). Marketed fresh or dried (Ref. 12484).
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Distribution

Range Description

This is a widely distributed Indo-Pacific species, found from east Africa, the Red Sea, the coasts of India, throughout south-east Asia to southern Japan and northern Australia, and eastwards to Samoa.
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Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea, Persian Gulf and East Africa (including Reunion, Comoros, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius) to Fiji, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Australia.
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific: East Africa, Seychelles, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to eastern Caroline Islands, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to Western Australia at Broome, Queensland (Australia) at Townsville, and New Caledonia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15 - 16; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 14 - 15
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Size

Maximum size: 280 mm NG
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Max. size

28.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Found in river mouths and muddy inshore areas. Adults move in schools. Feeds on polychaetes, small crustaceans, and small fish. Occurs at temperatures ranging from 26 to 29°C (Ref. 4959).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Deep-bodied with short rounded snout and large eyes (Ref. 48635). Body silvery; caudal peduncle with a small brown saddle; anal fins yellowish; dorsal fin transparent. Strongly arched back. Naked head; with nuchal spine. Protracted mouth pointing downward.
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Ecology

Habitat

Zambezi River Demersal Habitat

This taxon is one of a number of demersal species in the Zambezi River system of southern Africa. Demersal river fish are found at the river bottom, feeding on benthos and zooplankton

Nutrient levels in the Zambezi River are relatively low, especially in the upper Zambezi; in that reach, above Victoria Falls, most of the catchment drains Kalahari sands, whose nutrient levels are inherently low due to their aeolian formation; moreover, agricultural fertilizer addition throughout the Zambezi watershed is low, due to the shortage of capital available to farmers of this region.

Nitrate levels (as nitrogen) in the upper Zambezi are typically in the range of .01 to .03 milligrams per liter. Correspondingly electrical conductivity of the upper Zambezi is on the order of 75 micro-S per centimeter, due to the paucity of ion content. From the Luangwa River downstream nitrate levels elevate to .10 to .18 milligrams per liter, and electrical conductivity rises to a range of two to four times the upper Zambezi levels. Not surprisingly, pH, calcium ion concentration, bicarbonate and electrical conductivity are all higher in portions of the catchment where limestone soils predominate compared to granite.

There are a total of 190 fish species present in the Zambezi River, including eel and shark taxa. The largest native demersal species present are the 117 centimeter (cm) long tiger fish (Hydrocynus vittatus), the 175 cm African mottled eel (Anguilla bengalensis labiata), the 120 cm Indonesian shortfin eel (Anguilla bicolor bicolor), the 200 cm Giant mottled eel (Anguilla marmorata), the 150 cm African longfin eel (Anguilla mossambica), the 183 cm Sampa (Heterobranchus longifilis), the 150 cm Cornish jack (Mormyrops anguilloides) and the 700 cm largetooth sawfish (Pristis microdon).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in inshore muddy-bottomed coastal waters, river mouths and estuaries (Allen 1991). It is found in schools and occurs at depths to 70 m; the young are found in shallow estuaries and mangroves (1–10 m depth). Individuals feeds on polychaetes, small fishes and crustaceans (Woodland et al, 2001).

Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; amphidromous; freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 110 m (Ref. 12260)
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Depth range based on 77 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 21 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.3 - 332.5
  Temperature range (°C): 25.585 - 28.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.068 - 2.179
  Salinity (PPS): 32.200 - 35.138
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.166 - 4.770
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.078 - 0.475
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.354 - 7.567

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.3 - 332.5

Temperature range (°C): 25.585 - 28.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.068 - 2.179

Salinity (PPS): 32.200 - 35.138

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.166 - 4.770

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.078 - 0.475

Silicate (umol/l): 1.354 - 7.567
 
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Depth: 10 - 110m.
From 10 to 110 meters.

Habitat: benthopelagic.
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Migration

Amphidromous. Refers to fishes that regularly migrate between freshwater and the sea (in both directions), but not for the purpose of breeding, as in anadromous and catadromous species. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.Characteristic elements in amphidromy are: reproduction in fresh water, passage to sea by newly hatched larvae, a period of feeding and growing at sea usually a few months long, return to fresh water of well-grown juveniles, a further period of feeding and growing in fresh water, followed by reproduction there (Ref. 82692).
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Trophic Strategy

Found in river mouths and muddy inshore areas. Sometimes enters freshwater (Ref. 2847). Between February and May, adult less abundant in the estuary (Ref. 4959). Feeds on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates (Ref. 11889).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Leiognathus equulus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 16
Specimens with Barcodes: 31
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Leiognathus equulus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 11 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACCCTTTATATAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCTGGAATGGTAGGAACCGCCCTA---AGTCTTCTTATTCGGGCAGAGCTAAGCCAGCCAGGTGCTCTGCTCGGAGAC---GACCACATTTATAATGTTATTGTCACCGCACATGCATTCGTAATAATTTTTTTTATGGTCATACCTATTATGATTGGAGGTTTCGGTAACTGGCTAATCCCACTAATA---ATTGGAGCCCCTGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATGAACAACATAAGTTTCTGACTTCTACCTCCCTCATTCTTACTTCTTTTGGCATCCTCAGGCATTGAAGCTGGAGCAGGAACTGGGTGAACAGTCTACCCCCCTCTTGCAGGCAACCTTGCCCACGCAGGCGCTTCCGTAGACCTG---ACTATCTTCTCCCTCCACTTAGCCGGAATCTCGTCAATCTTAGGGGCCATTAACTTCATTACAACAATTATTAATATAAAACCCCCAGCCATCTCACAATTCCAAACGCCCCTGTTTGTCTGAGCAGTGCTAATCACAGCAGTTCTCCTTCTCCTTTCTCTCCCAGTTCTTGCAGCG---GGTATCACAATGCTTCTAACTGACCGTAACCTTAATACTACGTTCTTTGACCCTGCAGGAGGTGGAGACCCAATTTTATACCAACACCTA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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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
2012

Assessor/s
Larson, H.

Reviewer/s
Hoese, D. & Pippard, H.

Contributor/s

Justification
This is a widespread and common species with no known major threats to the global population. It is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
This is a common species that can be abundant in appropriate habitat. There are no available population data.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known major threats to this common and often abundant species. Local fisheries may pose a localised threat to this species.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is found in several marine protected areas within its wide distribution.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; price category: high; price reliability: questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this genus
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