Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Hepsetidae
Etymology: Hepsetus: Greek, epsetas, -e, -on = boiled, but there is the following sentence: "oí epsetoi" = certain fishes, and also could be related to "psetta" = grouper (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 7.5; dH range: ? - 18; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 26°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 19.5  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 70.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3569); max. published weight: 4.0 kg (Ref. 3569); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 2750)
Africa: widespread in West and central tropical Africa, including most coastal rivers of West Africa from Senegal to Angola: Niger, Volta, Chad, Ogowe, Congo and upper Zambezi Rivers (Ref. 2801, 2914, 3569, 81278, 81637). Absent in the Nile River (Ref. 2801, 2914, 3569, 81278, 81637), the Great Lakes (Ref. 7248, 81637) and the Zambian Congo (Ref. 7248). Also known from the Cunene, Okavango, and Kafue systems (Ref. 7248, 81637).
It should be noted that this species seems to prefer upper river courses or small rivers where Hydrocynus are absent or scarce (Ref. 2914, 81278, 81637).
Adults occur in most coastal rivers, lakes and swamps (Ref. 3569). Prefer quiet, deep water, like channels and lagoons of large floodplains. Juveniles and fry inhabit well-vegetated marginal habitats. Adults feed on fish, juveniles feed on small invertebrates and fish. Multiple spawner; breeds over the summer months. Relatively short-lived, only 4-5 years; also caught with drawnets (Ref. 7248).
An individual of 510 mm SL has been reported from Senegal but not confirmed, and there exists a head in the MNHN from the Cavally that would have belonged to an individual of ca. 700 mm TL and weighing ca. 4000 g (Ref. 81637).
Paugy, D., 2007. Hepsetidae. p. 343-346. In M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G. Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, West-Central Africa. Volume I. Collection Faune et Flore tropicales 42. Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Paris, France, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France, and Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgium. 800 pp. (Ref. 81637)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6250 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00363 (0.00149 - 0.00887), b=3.16 (2.94 - 3.38), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.5 ±0.8 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.27-0.59; tmax=5; Fec < 10,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .