Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits lakes and large rivers (Ref. 4967).
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Distribution

Range Description

Hydrocynus goliath is known from throughout the Congo River basin, with exception of the Mweru-Luapula-Bangweulu system.
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Africa: Congo River basin, Lualaba River, Lake Upemba, and Lake Tanganyika.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 1300 mm SL
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Max. size

133 cm FL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 50.0 kg (Ref. 4537)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Hydrocynus goliath is a pelagic species. It inhabits lakes and large rivers (Eccles 1992).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

pelagic; freshwater; pH range: 6.5 - 7.5; dH range: 25
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Hydrocynus goliath

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: Hydrocynus goliath

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
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
2010

Assessor/s
Moelants, T.

Reviewer/s
Brummett, R., Mbe Tawe, A.N., Dening Touokong, C., Reid, G.M., Snoeks, J. Staissny, M., Moelants, T., Mamonekene, V., Ndodet, B., Ifuta, S.N.B., Chilala, A., Monsembula, R., Ibala Zamba, A., Opoye Itoua, O., Pouomogne, V., Darwall, W. & Smith, K.

Contributor/s

Justification
The species is widespread or without major threats throughout central Africa and is assessed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
No information available.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
None known.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None known.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
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Wikipedia

Hydrocynus goliath

Hydrocynus goliath, also known as the goliath tigerfish, giant tigerfish, or mbenga, is a very large African predatory freshwater fish of the Alestidae family.

Distribution[edit]

Hydrocynus goliath is found in the Congo River Basin (including Lualaba River and Lake Upemba), and Lake Tanganyika.[1] A study published in 2011 revealed several mtDNA clades in this region, suggesting a higher tigerfish species richness than traditionally recognized. If confirmed, this would restrict H. goliath to the Congo River Basin.[2] Four additional species (H. vittatus and three undescribed species) appear to be present in this Basin, while two (H. vittatus and an undescribed species) appear to be present in Lake Tanganyika.[2]

Description[edit]

This large-toothed, highly predatory fish grows to a length of 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) and a weight of 50 kilograms (110 lb).[3]

Diet[edit]

Hydrocynus goliath is a piscivore, feeding on any fish it can overpower, including smaller conspecifics.

When hunting, this fish uses the calmer eddies of the rapids to ambush its prey, using its keen sight and hearing to detect prey. When a target is noticed, the fish uses acceleration to chase it down.

Interaction with humans[edit]

A number of incidents have been reported in The Congo of this fish attacking humans.[4] This seems to be the result of disturbances and flashing objects in the water that makes the fish mistake a human for a large fish.[citation needed] This reputation, combined with its strength, has earned it an almost mythical status among anglers, and it has been called the "greatest freshwater gamefish in the world."[4]

According to locals living near the river, the evil spirit "mbenga" would enter the fish and make it attack people.

This species featured in Jeremy Wade's documentary series River Monsters (Season 2, Episode 1 "Demon Fish"). Wade managed to catch the fish and planned to release it, but it died from swimming into rocks during the fight. In the special, Wade called this fish the "ultimate river monster" of all the fish he has caught filming for the series.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Hydrocynus goliath" in FishBase. April 2013 version.
  2. ^ a b Goodier, S.A.M., F.P.D. Cotterill, C. O'Ryan, P.H. Skelton, and M.J de Wit (2011). Cryptic Diversity of African Tigerfish (Genus Hydrocynus) Reveals Palaeogeographic Signatures of Linked Neogene Geotectonic Events. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028775
  3. ^ Paul Harvey Skelton (2001). A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik. ISBN 978-1-86872-643-1. 
  4. ^ a b Bill Hansford-Steele (2002). African Fly-Fishing Handbook. Struik. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-86872-882-4. 
  5. ^ GOLIATH TIGERFISH (Hydrocynus goliath) Discovery channel
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