Overview

Distribution

Range Description

B. polylepis is found in Lake Maracaibo. This species was also recorded for the Orinoco basin in Venezuela, in the Rio Tocantins basin in Brazil and in the upper Amazon basin (Rio Madre de Dios) in Peru (Lima 2004; Lima in prep.)
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South America: Lake Maracaibo basin in Venezuela.
  • Lima, F.C.T. 2003 Characidae - Bryconinae (Characins, tetras). p. 174-181. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 38504)
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Lake Maracaibo basin, Venezuela.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

22.4 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 38504))
  • Lima, F.C.T. 2003 Characidae - Bryconinae (Characins, tetras). p. 174-181. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 38504)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
B. polylepis is a benthopelagic (ecological region at the lowest level of water body) species. Plant material is an important part of the diet of adult Brycon species; and thus these fish play a role in the dispersal of plants whose fruits they eat (Berra 2001). Occurs only in small rivers. Specimens have been found in caves.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; freshwater
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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
2009

Assessor/s
Reis, R & Lima, F.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)

Contributor/s

Justification
Assessed as Least Concern. While the species is of concern in the Maracaibo basin, it is still present in the Orinoco basin and Western Amazon where populations are not under threat. In the Tocantin basin, it is likely less common, but on balance across it range, it is not thought that the species is threatened. If current rates of degradation of habitat continue to occur in Maracaibo and Tocantin, and start to occur in Orinoco and the Western Amazon, then the species will need to be moved to a threatened category.
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Population

Population
Nowhere throughout its range is this species common.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is very sensitive to disturbance. They are generally the first species to disappear when disturbance occurs. There is very little natural habitat remaining in the Lake Maracaibo basin due to a high population density and intensive land use. Grazing has especially affected the southeastern and southwestern areas of Lake Maracaibo. The main impact on the natural vegetation has been caused by shifting cultivation, and by an extensive network of roads surrounding Lake Maracaibo. Further conversion of remaining natural habitat in the southern part of the basin is of great concern. Also of concern is recent findings that some of the rivers that traverse the basin and flow into the Maracaibo Lake are polluted with pesticides and fertilizers (WWF 2001). Due to their dependence on plant material in their diet, the destruction of rainforests surrounding their habitat could have serious consequences for this species.

While the species is of concern in the Maracaibo basin, it is still present in the Orinoco basin and Western Amazon where populations are not under threat. In the Tocantin basin, it is likely less common, but on balance across it range, it is not thought that the species is threatened.
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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
There are no conservation measures in place.
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