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Petrocephalus catostoma  (Günther, 1866)

Churchill
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Petrocephalus catostoma
Picture by Seegers, L.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes (Bony tongues) > Mormyridae (Elephantfishes)
Etymology: Petrocephalus: Latin, petra = stone + Greek, kephale = head (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 23°C - 26°C (Ref. 2060); 3°S - 27°S

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 4 - ? cm
Max length : 15.0 cm FL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5214)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18-22; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 25 - 28.

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

East Africa: Rovuma River system including Niassa Reserve, and western confluences to Lake Malawi (Ref. 91771). Following a recent revision of the Petrocephalus catostoma complex (Ref. 91771), unambiquous evidence for the presence of this species in the Bangweulu-Mweru area (and consequently the Congo basin) is still lacking (Ref. 91772).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in shallow and muddy waters, sheltered bays, in lagoons, and swampy areas. Forms shoal (Ref. 13337). Prefers quiet parts of rivers where there is abundant vegetation (Ref. 13337). Feeds mostly on insect larvae and other invertebrates at night (Ref. 5595). Shoals within quiet reaches of rivers and floodplains. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Known to undergo upriver migration which may well be correlated with breeding (Ref. 13337). Breeds during the rainy season, possibly moving upstream to suitable sites. An unconfirmed report claims the males are territorial and build a nest (Ref. 7248). Found schooling with other species with identical electric organ discharge (EOD) waveforms (Ref. 10460). Caught in nets for food (5214).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Kramer, B., R. Bills, P. Skelton and M. Wink, 2012. A critical revision of the churchill snoutfish, genus Petrocephalus Marcusen, 1854 (Actinopterygii: Teleostei: Mormyridae), from southern and eastern Africa, with the recognition of Petrocephalus tanensis, and the description of five new species. Journal of Natural History 46(35-36):2179-2258. (Ref. 91771)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01514 (0.00861 - 0.02661), b=2.81 (2.66 - 2.96), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.38 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 116).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (17 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.