Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Synbranchiformes
(Spiny eels) > Mastacembelidae
Etymology: Mastacembelus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, emballo = to throw oneself (Ref. 45335). More on author: Lacepède.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; demersal; pH range: 6.5 - 7.5; dH range: ? - 15; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672); 38°N - 1°N
Asia: Pakistan to Viet Nam and Indonesia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 90.0 cm male/unsexed; (Ref. 37770); max. published weight: 500.00 g (Ref. 9671)
(total): 33 - 40;
soft rays: 67 - 83;
Vertebrae: 87 - 98. Body dull brown with 1-3 darker, longitudinal zigzag lines, more or less connected to form a reticulated pattern, more or less distinct and restricted to the dorsal two thirds of the body (Ref. 27732).
Adults live in highland streams to lowland wetlands (Ref. 57235). Usually found in streams and rivers with sand, pebble, or boulder substrate. They seldom leave the bottom except when disturbed. Also occur in still waters, both in coastal marshes and dry zone tanks. Sometimes stays partially buried in fine substrate. Enter flooded forest (Ref. 9497). Reported to occur in areas with rocky bottoms in the Mekong mainstream during the dry season, but enter canals, lakes and other floodplain areas during the flood season (Ref. 37770). Forages at night on benthic insect larvae, worms and some submerged plant material (Ref. 12693). Common during the summer months. Marketed fresh and frequently seen in the aquarium trade (Ref. 12693). Economic important species, both food and aquarium trades (Ref. 57235).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Pethiyagoda, R., 1991. Freshwater fishes of Sri Lanka. The Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka, Colombo. 362 p. (Ref. 6028)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00427 (0.00280 - 0.00649), b=2.83 (2.70 - 2.96), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.8 ±0.27 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 312 [120, 661] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.68 [0.76, 3.47] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.7 [14.9, 18.5] % ; Omega3 = 0.314 [0.155, 0.636] g/100g ; Selenium = 29.7 [8.9, 91.5] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 12.3 [3.7, 39.7] μg/100g ; Zinc = 1.02 [0.54, 2.33] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.