Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Synbranchiformes
(Spiny eels) > Mastacembelidae
Etymology: Mastacembelus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, emballo = to throw oneself (Ref. 45335); robertsi: Named for Tyson R. Roberts who collected part of the typematerial and who first suggested that this species might well be new to science (Ref. 28147).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 6°N - 7°S
Africa: lower Congo River and Pool Malebo in Democratic Republic of the Congo, and lower Kotto and Bomu rivers (Ubangui drainage, middle Congo River basin) in Central African Republic; also reported from Bangui fish market in Central African Republic (Ref. 28147).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 33.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 84205)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 22 - 26;
soft rays: 63 - 92;
Vertebrae: 74 - 82. Can be distinguished from other African mastacembelid species by following combination of characters: small eyes, anterior border of first dorsal spine situated before, above, or just behind posterior edge of pectoral fin; generally the color pattern is uniform (Ref. 28147).
Collected mostly from the rapids. For specimens of the Lower Congo River basin (mainstream), water temperature was recorded at a range of 24.7-29.0°C, air temperature at 23.3-30.0°C, D.O. 8.0 mg/l, and pH 7.0-7.5 (Ref. 28147).
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. 125652)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00269 (0.00126 - 0.00577), b=2.95 (2.77 - 3.13), 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.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100).