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Pantodon buchholzi  Peters, 1876

Freshwater butterflyfish
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Pantodon buchholzi
Picture by Malkowski, P.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes (Bony tongues) > Pantodontidae (Freshwater Butterflyfish)
Etymology: Pantodon: Greek, pan = all + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335);  buchholzi: Named after Professor Dr. Buchholz, collector of the type specimens (Ref. 53310).   More on author: Peters.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 23°C - 30°C (Ref. 13371)

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 11.9 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 52030)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 9 - 15. Compressed body, flattened on the dorsal side and head, careened on the ventral side behind the pelvic fins (Ref. 2921, Ref. 13851). Large mouth, with numerous teeth and a prominent lower jaw (Ref. 2921), upwardly directed (Ref. 3054, Ref. 42873). Short dorsal fin placed very posterior on the back (Ref. 2921), inserted behind the longer anal fin (Ref. 3054, Ref. 13851). Large development of the pectoral fins (Ref. 2921, Ref. 3054), enlarged and wing-like (Ref. 42873). Very advanced position of the pelvic fins, with 4 elongated, filamentous rays (Ref. 2921, Ref. 3054). The caudal fin is long, pointed and rather ragged, with the two centre rays the longest (Ref. 13851). Large cycloid scales (Ref. 2921), subcircular, with rounded but evident laterobasal angles (Ref. 53264): 26-30 lateral line scales, 21-26 predorsal scales (Ref. 52030, Ref. 52046). Extremely brilliant colored (Ref. 2921): dorsal side of the body olive-colored, ventral side silvery yellow amplified with carmine; sometimes with darker transversal bands on the back (Ref. 2921, Ref. 3032). The fins are vivid pink-colored with small brown-violet spots, forming transversal bands on the pectoral fins, and tinted with violet on the inside and extremities (Ref. 2921).

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

West and Central Africa: Nigeria, Lake Chad, Cameroon, Ogowe basin, Congo basin and upper Zambezi River (Ref. 2921, Ref. 3515). Eastern limit of its distribution seems to be the Ouémé River in Benin (Ref. 1989, Ref. 3019), but it is also observed in Jong River, Sierra Leone (Ref. 2921).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Pantodon buchholzi is a creature from calm waters (Ref. 51626). It lives in swamps, creeks and backwaters (Ref. 31256), and inhabits the calmer parts of rivers (Ref. 41580), where it can be seen on the surface waters (Ref. 4910). They are capable to jump out of the water, to search for insects or to escape from predators (Ref. 2921). It is not a glider, but a ballistic jumper (Ref. 52282), with a tremendous jumping power (Ref. 31256). It is an exophageous insectivore, feeding on terrestrial insects and aquatic larvae and nymphs of insects (Ref. 41580). It also feeds on crustaceans and fish (Ref. 7020). Introduced in 1905 to European aquarists (Ref. 51626, Ref. 53207). Pantodon buchholzi is a favorite fish for aquarists; in the aquarium it can rest with the top of the head and the large pectoral fins touching the surface, while the long rays of the pelvic fin hang down perpendicularly, forming a tempting morsel for other aggressive fish in the same tank, and therefore it should be stocked together with only bottom dwellers (Ref. 13851). Observed maximum length of 15.0 cm TL in aquarium (Ref. 2921, Ref. 3515).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

It lays 80 to 220 eggs (Ref. 13371). The eggs have a diameter of about 1.5 mm (Ref. 41580).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Teugels, G.G., 1990. Pantodontidae. p. 116-118. 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 1. Coll. Faune Trop. 28. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren and Éditions de l'ORSTOM, Paris. 384 p. (Ref. 2921)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

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 models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01122 (0.00514 - 0.02450), b=3.04 (2.87 - 3.21), based on all LWR estimates for this body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.52 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Fec = 80-220).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.