Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Alestidae
Etymology: Hydrocynus: Greek, hydr = water + Greek, kyon = dog (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 39.8  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 105 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); 74.0 cm FL (female); max. published weight: 28.0 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 8 years (Ref. 2754)
soft rays: 12. Diagnosis: two scale rows between lateral line and scaly process at pelvic-fin bases; rakers of first gill arch normally developed; dorsal-fin origin at about same level as pelvic-fin insertions (Ref. 81279). Eye < 70% of interorbital space; body profile less slender than H. forskalii; tips of adipose and dorsal fins black. Forked edge of caudal fin black (Ref. 2880, 81279).
Africa: Niger/Bénoué, Ouémé, Senegal (Ref. 7248, 81279), Chad, Volta, Mono (Ref. 81279), Nile, Omo, Congo, Lufira, Lualaba, Luapula, Zambeze, Limpopo, Rovuma, Shore, Rufiji , Ruaha, Wami, and Ruvu. Lakes - Bangwéolo, Moéro, Tanganyika, Upemba, Rukwa and Malagarazi. Also Okavango and lower reaches of coastal systems south to Pongolo (Ref. 7248). Also found in Lake Kariba (Ref. 27602).
Prefers warm, well-oxygenated water, mainly larger rivers and lakes. All but the largest form roving schools of like-sized fish; aptly described as fierce and voracious. Feeds on whatever prey is most abundant but Brycinus, Micralestes, Barbus, and Limnothrissa are favored (Ref. 7248). Useful food fish in some areas (Ref. 4967).
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5156 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01086 (-0.04315 - 0.06487), b=3.02 (2.98 - 3.05), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.4 ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.20-0.30; tmax=11).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (41 of 100) .