Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Synbranchiformes
(Spiny eels) > Mastacembelidae
Etymology: Mastacembelus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, emballo = to throw oneself (Ref. 45335). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 7.4 - 8.4; dH range: 7 - 30. Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 12468)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27292)
(total): 29 - 35;
soft rays: 67 - 80;
Vertebrae: 95 - 96. Anterior nostril in the form of a short tentacle. Snout produced as a fleshy appendage. The anal fin with 2 separate spines. Color extremely variable, ground color brown with a variable reticulated and blotched pattern (Ref. 34290).
Africa: Lake Victoria through Lake Tanganyika and their associated catchment basins to the Upper Zambezi and Okavango Rivers (Ref. 6060). Also in the upper Congo River basin in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 2970, 45616, 93587) and Zambia (Ref. 246, 27609, 45616).
Occurs in swamps and shallow coastal waters, amongst aquatic vegetation (Ref. 6060). Feeds on fish and insects (Ref. 13624).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Travers, R.A., G. Eynikel and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde, 1986. Mastacembelidae. p. 415-427. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 6060)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00275 (0.00121 - 0.00626), b=2.96 (2.76 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.63 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .