Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Forms shoals. An open water predator often found near the water surface (Ref. 13337). Feeds on fishes, preferring long bodied fish as they are easier to swallow and also takes insects, grass and snails (Ref. 13337). Cannibalistic. Preyed upon by fish eagle Haliaeetus vocifer (Ref. 13337). Breeding migrations have been reported up several tributaries of Lake Kariba during the rains (Ref. 13337). Affinities: H. vittatus.
  • Paugy, D. 1990 Characidae. p. 195-236. In C. Lévêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres de l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Tome I. Coll. Faune Tropicale n° XXVIII. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren et O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, 384 p. (Ref. 2880)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=2880&speccode=5229 External link.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species has a wider distribution area than other Hydrocynus species since it occurs in both, the savannah as well as the forested areas. It ranges from Senegal to Ethiopia, and Egypt to Uganda and Kenya.

Central Africa: Hydrocynus forskahlii is known from the Lower and Central Congo River basin and from Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool). The records from Lake Mweru are possibly Hydrocinus vittatus.

Eastern Africa: It is present in Lake Albert, the Albert and Murchison Niles, and Lake Turkana

Northern Africa: This species is found along the River Nile, and Lake Nasser (also known as Lake Nubia). The population used to increase during flood season before the construction of Aswan Dam.

Northeast Africa: It is known from the Ghazal and Jebel systems in Sudan, Tekeze and Setit in Eritrea, and the Rift lakes, and Baro and Omo Rivers, Ethiopia

Western Africa: In West Africa it is found in the basins of the Chad, Niger/Benue, Ogun, Ouémé, Mono, Volta, Comoé, Bandama, Sassandra, Nipoué (Cess), St. Paul, Mano, Little Scarcies, Gambia, and Senegal.
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Africa.
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Africa: Nile, Lake Albert [=Lake Mobutu Sese Seko], Lakes Turkana and Gandjule (Margherita), Senegal, Niger, Volta, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Liberia, Benue, Omo, Gambia, Chad, Sierra Leone, Benin.
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Physical Description

Size

Max. size

78.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2880)); max. published weight: 15.5 kg (Ref. 13337); max. reported age: 4 years (Ref. 2757)
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Diagnostic Description

Slender profile. Eye
  • Paugy, D. 1990 Characidae. p. 195-236. In C. Lévêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres de l'Afrique de l'Ouest. Tome I. Coll. Faune Tropicale n° XXVIII. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren et O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, 384 p. (Ref. 2880)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=2880&speccode=5229 External link.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Hydrocynus forskahlii is a pelagic, potamodromous species that forms shoals. It is an open water predator often found near the water surface (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988) and feeds on fishes, preferring long bodied fish as they are easier to swallow and also takes insects, shrimps, grass and snails (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). This species is cannibalistic. It is preyed upon by fish eagle Haliaeetus vocifer (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). Breeding migrations have been reported up several tributaries of Lake Kariba during the rains (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988). Spawning takes place most of the year.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on fish and zoobenthos (Ref. 6160); primarily cichlid fishes, Hepsetus and small characid fishes (Ref. 30518).
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Diseases and Parasites

Annulotrema Infestation 3. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Annulotrema Infestation 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Annulotrema Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Hydrocynus forskahlii

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 forskahlii

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
Akinyi, E., Azeroual, A., Entsua-Mensah, M., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Moelants, T. & Twongo, T.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central, eastern, northern, north eastern and western Africa.
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Population

Population
Limited information available. Commonly found in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Bad agricultural practices in areas around the Volta may pose potential threats to this fish species. Increased sediments and levels of pesticides, fertilizers and other agrochemicals can harmfully impact the ecosystems, and negatively affect the fish. Other potential problems include aquatic weeds and pollution from inadequately treated human waste. It is a commercially important fish species with heavy fishing pressure. In northern Africa, dams, water pollution (agriculture, domestic and commercial/industrial), groundwater extraction and drought pose possible threats.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There is a conservation policy in place in Ghana (Inland fisheries policy; Wetlands Management Strategy). More research is needed into this species population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status and threats, as well as monitoring and potential conservation measures.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
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