Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Synbranchiformes
(Spiny eels) > Mastacembelidae
Etymology: Mastacembelus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, emballo = to throw oneself (Ref. 45335). More on author: Sauvage.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Africa: Kribi River basin (Cameroon) to the Kouilou-Niari (Republic of Congo); also known from the lower Congo River and Pool Malebo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), forming the south-eastern distribution limit, and from the Dja River (middle Congo River basin), forming its north-eastern distribution border (Ref. 81678).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.6 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 81678)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 23 - 28;
soft rays: 61 - 83;
Vertebrae: 71 - 85. Diagnosis: 22+1 - 27+1 (median 24+1) dorsal spines; postorbital length relatively short, 53.3-62.6% HL (mean 58.2%); pectoral fin relatively long, 24.7-38.1% HL (mean 30.5%); distance from anterior border of snout to last externally visible dorsal spine 53.9-62.2% SL (mean 57.1%), decreasing with size; origin of soft dorsal fin at about same level as origin of soft anal fin; lower jaw length relatively short, 14.4-23.1% HL (mean 18.3%), increasing with size; origin of first dorsal spine situated before, below, or just posterior to posterior edge of pectoral fin, (-27.9)-2.0% HL [mean (-12.7%)]; distance from gill opening to dorsal pectoral fin base 4.3-9.6% HL (mean 6.9%) (Ref. 81678).
Maximum reported total length 388 mm (Ref. 81678).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Vreven, E.J. and G.G. Teugels, 1996. Description of a new mastacembelid species (Synbranchiformes; Mastacembelidae) from the Zaïre River basin in Africa. Copeia 1996(1):130-139. (Ref. 28147)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00295 (0.00139 - 0.00627), b=2.92 (2.73 - 3.11), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.8 ±0.6 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (36 of 100) .