Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Occurs in open water and vegetation beds of lakes and flowing water. Ingests mud containing benthic and sedimented algae (Ref. 28714).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is wide ranging from Senegal to Ethiopia, and found throughout the Nile excluding the Nile delta.

Eastern Africa: It is found in Lake Albert

Northern Africa: Present but rare in Egyptian upper Nile; from Beni Suef southwards, and Lake Nasser (also known as Lake Nubia).

Northeast Africa: It occurs in the Ghazal and Jebel systems; White Nile, Nile to Lake Nasser, Sudan. Also found in Baro River, Ethiopia

Western Africa: This species is known from the rivers Senegal, Casamance, Niger, Volta, Chad, and from some coastal rivers of Guinea Bissau, Togo and Benin. (Laleye et al. 2004)
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Africa: known from Senegal, Casamance, Niger, Volta, Chad basin and certain coastal rivers in Guinéa-Bissau, Togo and Benin (Ref. 2938, 7095, 81281). Also in the Nile and Lake Mobutu Sese Seko (Lake Albert) (Ref. 2938, 7095).
  • Daget, J. 1984 Citharinidae. p. 212-216. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 1. (Ref. 7095)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal soft rays (total): 20 - 23; Analsoft rays: 23 - 26
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Size

Maximum size: 840 mm SL
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Max. size

84.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 7095)); max. published weight: 2,500 g (Ref. 3799)
  • Daget, J. 1984 Citharinidae. p. 212-216. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 1. (Ref. 7095)
  • Ita, E.O. 1984 Kainji (Nigeria). p. 43-103. In J.M. Kapetsky and T. Petr (eds.) Status of African reservoir fisheries. CIFA Tech. Pap. 10:326 p. (Ref. 3799)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosis: body depth 1.6-1.9x and head length 3.3-4.3x SL; caudal peduncle 0.6-0.8x long than high; short snout, 0.9-1.5x eye diameter; eye diameter 3.9-6x head length; adipose-fin base 1.4-2x longer than distance separating it from rayed dorsal fin; pointed pectoral fins, shorter than head (0.6-0.85x head length) and as long as pelvic fins; cycloid scales; scale formula 17.5-18.5/59-71/18.5-19.5; 13.5-15.5 scales between lateral line and pelvic-fin base; 20-23 dorsal fin branched rays; 23-26 anal fin branched rays (Ref. 2938, 81281). Description: eye protected by small adipose eyelid; pelvic fins inserted in advance of dorsal-fin origin (Ref. 2938, 81281). Coloration: silvery-white body; adipose-fin base greyish-black; pelvic and anal fins red except at their bases; lower lobe of caudal also red (Ref. 2938, 81281).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is occurs in open water and vegetation beds of lakes and flowing water. Ingests mud containing benthic and sedimented algae (Holden and Reed 1972). Also feeds on phytoplankton, aufwuchs, detritus and benthic animals. In the Sudd, C. latus spawns in the perennial wetland at high water.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; freshwater
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on phytoplankton, aufwuchs, detritus and benthic animals (Ref. 6160).
  • Hickley, P. and R.G. Bailey 1987 Food and feeding relationships of fish in the Sudd swamps (River Nile, southern Sudan). J. Fish Biol. 30:147-159. (Ref. 6160)
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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
Azeroual, A., Bayona, J., Entsua-Mensah, M., Getahun, A. & Lalèyè, P.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This is a widespread species with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern. It is also assessed regionally as Least Concern in western Africa, although it qualifies as Vulnerable within northern and eastern Africa. In northeastern Africa, this species is Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
No population estimates available.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This is a commercially harvested food fish, and thus overfishing is a potential threat. Other threats include invasive aquatic weeds, deforestation, sedimentation and drought.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No information available. More research is needed into this species population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status and threats, uses and harvest levels, and cultural relevance, as well as monitoring of populations trends and potential conservation measures. Habitat maintenance and conservation may also be needed.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial
  • Eccles, D.H. 1992 FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the freshwater fishes of Tanzania. Prepared and published with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (project URT/87/016). FAO, Rome. 145 p. (Ref. 4967)
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