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)
soft rays: 9;
Vertebrae: 45 - 49. Accessory ectopterygoids. Sensory canal on supraoperculum. Nasals close to each other. Triangular dermic fold on lower jaw and small and rounded on upper. Body depth 4.5-5.8 x SL. Head 3-3.7 x SL. Eye diameter 6-8 x head length. Skeletal formula 8-10/51-58/7-9, 4. Area above eye red-orange marks. Light and dark bands radiating behind eye. Black adipose fin. Pink to grayish fins. Adults may have black spots on paired fins.
Africa: widespread from Senegal to Angola including Niger, Volta, Chad, Ogowe, Democratic Republic of the Congo and upper Zambezi Rivers; as well as in the Cunene, Okavango, and Kafue systems. Widespread in central and west Africa. Absent in the Nile River; Zambian Congo and the Great Lakes (Ref. 7248).
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 (Ref. 7248). Also caught with drawnets.
Paugy, D., 1990. Hepsetidae. p. 192-194. 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 and O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, 384 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00381 (-0.17857 - 0.18618), b=3.15 (3.04 - 3.25), based on LWR estimates for this family-BS (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) .