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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Taxonomic Notes: Ambassis gymnocephalus was originally described as Lutjanus gymnocephalus by Lacepède (1802) from Indo-Pacific region. This species is considered as 'nomen dubium' by Anderson and Heemstra (2003) because of the considerable taxonomic confusion and on the basis of the lack of diagnostic features. However, the species has been considered as valid by Day (1875), Talwar and Jhingran (1991), Jayaram (1999) and Eschmeyer (2010)."
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Brief

"Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1 Year Assessed: 2010 Conservation Actions: Currently there is no specific action plan directed towards Ambassis dussumieri. Research on the population status, ecology and threats to the species is essential."
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Biology

Found in shallow waters; common in estuaries; may enter lower reaches of rivers. Can tolerate fresh water only within a narrow temperature (23-26°C). Feeds mainly at night on crustaceans, but also takes small fishes, fish eggs and larvae in estuaries (Ref. 7248). Marketed dried and salted (Ref. 12693).
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Distribution

Range Description

Ambassis gymnocephalus is distributed in Indo-West Pacific (Day 1875, Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Jayaram 1999): Red Sea and South Africa (Whitfield and Paterson 2003), Kenya to the Philippines, India (Bhimachar and Venkataraman 1952, Venkataraman 1960, Tilak 1972), Sri Lanka (Vinobaba 2007) north to China (Randall and Lim 2000), Hong Kong (Nip and Wong 2010), Thiland (Shinnaka et al. 2007), Hainan (Nichols and Pope 1927), Borneo (Inger 1955) and Taiwan (Hung and Chiu 1991), south to northern Australia (Russell et al. 2003).
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"Range Description: Ambassis gymnocephalus is distributed in Indo-West Pacific (Day 1875, Talwar and Jhingran 1991, Jayaram 1999): Red Sea and South Africa (Whitfield and Paterson 2003), Kenya to the Philippines, India (Bhimachar and Venkataraman 1952, Venkataraman 1960, Tilak 1972), Sri Lanka (Vinobaba 2007) north to China (Randall and Lim 2000), Hong Kong (Nip and Wong 2010), Thiland (Shinnaka et al. 2007), Hainan (Nichols and Pope 1927), Borneo (Inger 1955) and Taiwan (Hung and Chiu 1991), south to northern Australia (Russell et al. 2003). Countries - Native: Australia; China (Hainan); Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Kenya; Madagascar; Malaysia; Philippines; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Viet Nam"
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Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and South Africa to the Philippines, north to China (Ref. 33450) and Taiwan (Ref. 5193), south to northern Australia.
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific: East and South Africa east to Philippines and New Guinea, north to Taiwan, south to Queensland (Australia) at Cairns.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 7 - 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8 - 10; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8 - 10
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Size

Maximum size: 160 mm TL
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Max. size

16.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4180))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

In shallow waters; common in estuaries; may enter lower reaches of rivers. Can tolerate fresh water only within a narrow temperature (23-26°C). Feeds mainly at night on crustaceans, but also takes small fishes, fish eggs and larvae in estuaries (Ref. 7248).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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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
Ambassis gymnocephalus is primarily marine fish but it enters estuaries and freshwaters (Talwar and Jhingran 1991). It feeds on copepals (like Centropages, Pseudodiuptomus, Eucalanus, Acartia and Oithona), polychaetes (chiefly Prionospio pinnara), cladocerans, decapods, cirripede larva and diatoms and rarely on Sugitta, Hippa, amphipods, larval bivalves, fish post-larva and fish scales (Venkataraman 1960). This species attains a total length of 10 cm (Talwar and Jhingran 1991).

Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine; pH range: 7.2 - 8.2
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Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.2 - 5.5
  Temperature range (°C): 26.803 - 26.803
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.090 - 0.090
  Salinity (PPS): 34.975 - 34.975
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.666 - 4.666
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.131 - 0.131
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.005 - 1.005

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.2 - 5.5
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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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 shallow waters; common in estuaries; may enter lower reaches of rivers. Can tolerate fresh water only within a narrow temperature (23-26°C). Also inhabits coral reefs (Ref. 58534). Feeds mainly at night on crustaceans, but also takes small fishes, fish eggs and larvae in estuaries (Ref. 7248).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ambassis gymnocephalus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Ambassis ambassis

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


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ambassis ambassis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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
2011

Assessor/s
Dahanukar, N.

Reviewer/s
Basheer, V.S., Krishna , K.K., Abraham, R. & Cox, N.A.

Contributor/s
Molur, S.

Justification
Ambassis gymnocephalus is assessed as Least Concern because it is a widespread species with no known major threats. However, the taxonomy of this species needs to be resolved. Furthermore, there is a need to study the population status, harvest trends and threats to the species.
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"Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1 Year Assessed: 2010 Conservation Actions: Currently there is no specific action plan directed towards Ambassis dussumieri. Research on the population status, ecology and threats to the species is essential."
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Population

Population
No information is available on the population trends of Ambassis gymnocephalus. However, the species is common in India (Bhimachar and Venkataraman 1952, Venkataraman 1960) and Hong Kong (Nip and Wong 2010) with 67.74 % of total abundance and 66.27% of percent biomass in Tolo Harbour. The species is rare in South Africa (Whitfield and Paterson 2003).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Threats to Ambassis gymnocephalus are poorly known, but currently there are believed to be no major threats to the species.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently there is no specific action plan directed towards Ambassis gymnocephalus. Research is needed on the taxonomy, population status, harvest trends and threats to the species. It is not known if the species is present in any protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; price category: low; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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