Erpetoichthys calabaricus  Smith, 1865

Reedfish
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Polypteriformes (Bichirs) > Polypteridae (Bichirs)
Etymology: Erpetoichthys: Greek, erpeton = creeping thing + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335);  calabaricus: Named after the locality where the fish was taken: Old Calabar (Ref. 42916).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19; depth range 0 - ? m (Ref. 557).   Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 31.4  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 37.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 78138)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 7 - 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 0; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 9 - 14; Vertebrae: 110 - 113. Body elongate and anguilliform (Ref. 42768, Ref. 42908). Body height 24 times in total length; head length 11-14 times in total length (Ref. 2835). Head without sub-operculars, very slightly flattened, 1.6-2 times longer than wide; upper jaw prominent (Ref. 2835). Lateral eyes, eye-diameter 7.5-8.5 times in head length (Ref. 2835). Dorsal fin is composed of a series of well-separated spines each supporting one or several articulated rays and a membrane (Ref. 42791). Body covered with rhombic ganoid scales (Ref. 42791). 106-114 perforated scales on longitudinal line; 30-34 around body (Ref. 2835). Brown-olive colored on dorsal part and whitish on ventral portion, a big black spot on pectoral fins (Ref. 2835).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: Ogun River mouth in Nigeria to Chiloango River in Congo Brazzaville (Ref. 2835).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found in slow flowing rivers and standing waters (Ref. 557). Apparently restricted to reedy habitats (Ref. 42768). It moves snake-wise over the bottom, but it can also side-wind quite rapidly through the water (Ref. 42873). Feeds at night on worms, crustaceans and insects (Ref. 7020). Able to breathe air and thus can tolerate low oxygen concentrations. Larvae have external gills and resemble salamander larvae (Ref. 557). The size of 90 cm TL (Ref. 3188) is not confirmed; largest size in collections is 37 cm (Ref. 78138).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Gosse, J.-P., 1990. Polypteridae. p. 79-87. In C. Lévêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Tome 1. Coll. Faune Trop. n° XXVIII. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren and Éditions de l'ORSTOM, Paris. 384 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0001   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00132 (0.00060 - 0.00289), b=2.99 (2.79 - 3.19), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.3   ±0.40 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=20; Fec < 1,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (20 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.