Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Alestidae
Etymology: Hydrocynus: Greek, hydr = water + Greek, kyon = dog (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical (Ref. 5331)
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 20.0, range 21 - ? cm
Max length : 78.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2880); max. published weight: 15.5 kg (Ref. 13337); max. reported age: 4 years (Ref. 2757)
Diagnosis: 2 scale rows between lateral line and scaly process at pelvic-fin bases; eye <70% of interorbital space (Ref. 2880, 81279). Dorsal-fin uniformly greyish and its origin in front of pelvic fins; adipose fin greyish; caudal fin without black edge (Ref. 80290, 81279).
Africa: Lake Albert [=Lake Mobutu Sese Seko], Lakes Turkana and Gandjule (Margherita) (Ref. 5331), Nile, Omo and Congo (Ref. 2880, 5331, 81279, 80290).
In West Africa reported from the Chad, Niger, Benoué up to the Gambia and Senegal basin; also present in the coastal basins (Ref. 2880, 81279). In Lower Guinea present Cross, Wouri and Sanaga basins (Ref. 80290).
Forms shoals; an open water predator often found near the water surface; feeds on fishes, preferring long bodied fish as they are easier to swallow and also takes insects, grass and snails; cannibalistic; preyed upon by fish eagle Haliaeetus vocifer; breeding migrations have been reported up several tributaries of Lake Kariba during the rains (Ref. 13337). Affinities: H. vittatus (Ref. 2880, 80290).
Paugy, D. and S.A. Schaefer, 2007. Alestidae. p. 347-411. In M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G. Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) Poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres de basse Guinée, ouest de l'Afrique centrale/The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, west-central Africa. Vol. 1. Coll. Faune et Flore tropicales 42. Istitut de recherche pour le développement, Paris, France, Muséum nationale d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royale de l'Afrique centrale, Tervuren, Belgique. 800 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5156 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00457 (0.00172 - 0.01212), b=3.13 (2.90 - 3.36), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.5 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.17-0.45; tmax=4).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .