Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

A large lowland floodplain species occurring in slow moving rivers and inundated plains. Feeds on benthic insect larvae, worms and some plant material (Ref. 12693). Caught by dry pumping bodies of standing water. Marketed fresh and often seen in the aquarium trade. Has apparently become rare in recent years (Ref. 12693).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is recorded from the Mae Khlong to the eastern slopes of the Cardamom Mountains, the Mekong delta, and the Malay Peninsula to Borneo and Sumatra.
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Asia: Thailand and Cambodia to Indonesia.
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Thailand and Cambodia to Indonesia.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 1000 mm TL
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Max. size

100.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 1672))
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Diagnostic Description

Soft-rayed portions of median fins and pectoral fin with a sharply defined white distal margin, basal portion of dorsal, anal and caudal fins dark, that of pectoral fin dark or with broad vertical bars; head and anterior part of body with longitudinal red and black bands, rest of body with red spots or elongate marks on a black background (Ref. 39392).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in the lower reaches of rivers and inner estuaries with turbid water and a substrate of mud.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; freshwater; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19
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Diseases and Parasites

Ichthyobodo Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

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: Mastacembelus erythrotaenia

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 12
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
2012

Assessor/s
Vidthayanon, C.

Reviewer/s
Ng, H.H. & Allen, D.

Contributor/s

Justification
The species has a relatively wide distribution. Whilst populations have declined in Thailand, it is thought to still have good populations in other parts of its range and is assessed as Least Concern at present. Populations trends and habitats should be monitored.
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Population

Population
Populations in Thailand and the lower Mekong have declined. It is still locally common in Malaysia and Indonesia.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
The species has been overfished in Thailand for the aquarium trade throughout its range. It has also been overfished as part of mixed catches.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Monitoring of population and habitat trends is required.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Fire eel

The fire eel (Mastacembelus erythrotaenia) is a large freshwater fish found in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Description[edit]

The fire eel is not a true eel, but an extremely elongated fish with a distinctive pointed snout and underslung mouth. It is part of a group of fishes called spiny eels that also includes Tire Track and Peacock eels. The group gets its common name from the many small dorsal spines that precede the dorsal fin. The body is laterally compressed, particularly the rear third, where it flattens as it joins the caudal fin and forms an extended tail. The fire eel's base coloring is dark brown/grey, while the belly is generally a lighter shade of the same color. Several bright red lateral stripes and spots mark the body, and vary in intensity depending on the age and condition of the individual. Usually the markings are yellow/amber in juvenile fish, changing to a deep red in larger ones. Often the anal, pectoral, and dorsal fins have a red edging.

The fire eel can grow to a considerable size in the wild with specimens often exceeding 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) in length. However, due to limiting factors in the captive environment they usually reach a maximum of around 55 centimeters (22 in), even in very large aquaria.

Wild populations[edit]

Fire eels inhabit river environments with slow to briskly moving water and fine sediment. In the wild they occur across a relatively broad area covering a large part of Southeast Asia including Borneo, India, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Sumatra, and Thailand. They are bottom-dwellers that spend large portions of their time buried in the riverbed, often leaving only their snout visible. However, they are voracious predators and when hunting will visit all depths.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BioLib - Mastacembelus erythrotaenia". BioLib. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
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