Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to West Africa, Nigeria. This fish has only been collected from the Niger Delta
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Range Description

This species is endemic to western Africa. It has only been collected from the Niger delta.
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Africa: Lower Niger.
  • 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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West Africa.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Anal spines: 3; Analsoft rays: 18 - 19
  • 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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Size

Max. size

6.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2880))
  • 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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Diagnostic Description

Obtuse snout. Big eyes. Complete lateral line. Silvery body with fine black lateral stripe ending in caudal peduncle spot. Very light humeral spot. Gill rakers on first ceratobranch.
  • 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
This characid grows to 6.0 cm in total length. It is non-migratory

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
A. smykalai is a pelagic species that inhabits creeks and rivers. The average lifespan for an African Tetra (members of the family Alestidae) is five years.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

pelagic; freshwater; pH range: 6.0 - 7.2; dH range: 8 - 15
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Olaosebikan, B.D. & Lalèyè, P.

Reviewer/s
Abban, K. & Darwall, W.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species seems to be known only from Lower Niger in Nigeria in six or seven locations. Its EOO is more than 20,000 km², but many of these locations defined are threatened by oil exploration. It is therefore assessed as Near Threatened.
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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2ce

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2009

Assessor/s
Snoeks, J., Laleye, P. & Contreras-MacBeath, T.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Assessed as Vulnerable due to an inferred decline of greater than 30% over the past fifteen years. This is due to habitat degradation, water pollution and introduced species within the lower Niger River basin.
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Population

Population
No available data.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Population

Population
The population trend and numbers are unknown and further research is required for this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by oil exploration and consequential degradation of habitat in the Lower Niger Delta.
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Major Threats
A. smykalai is threatened by habitat degradation. The Niger Delta has suffered extensive environmental pollution and the crisis is still on going. The Niger Delta is endowed with immense natural resources, particularly crude oil, and in addition, Nigeria has the largest natural gas reserves in Africa. As a consequence, environmental problems arise from oil and gas-related development activities, oils spills, refinery operations, oil transportation, gas flaring, dredging of canals and land taken for the construction of facilities. Areas near such outfalls are subjected to chronic pollution, which is of significance for fish resources and fisheries (Laë et al. 2004). Construction of dams along the Niger River during the last 25 years has significantly disrupted the hydrological balance of the lower Niger River (Bustamante 2002). Population pressure and agricultural land degradation also exacerbate biodiversity losses in the region as they induce people to expand agricultural production and increase fishing pressure (Bustamante 2002).

In addition to habitat degradation, it is possible that A. smykalai is negatively affected by introduced species. In Nigeria, nine species were introduced since the 1970s, mainly for aquaculture. The ecological effects of these introduced species are unknown (Laë et al. 2004).
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Near Threatened (NT)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None known. It is recommended that oil companies develop a containment programme for this species in its localised environment.
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Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Regional red listing for West Africa is Endangered.
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