Hydrocynus forskahlii (Cuvier, 1819)
Elongate tigerfish
photo by Nightingale, A.

Family:  Alestidae (African tetras)
Max. size:  78 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 16 kg; max. reported age: 4 years
Environment:  pelagic; freshwater, potamodromous
Distribution:  Africa: Cross, Wouri and Sanaga basin in Lower Guinea ichthyofaunal province (Ref. 80290). Also in Chad, Niger, Ogun, Ouémé, Mono, Volta, Comoé, Bandama, Sassandra, Nipoué, St. Paul, Mano, Little Scarcies, Gambia and Senegal basins in West Africa (Ref. 2880, 80290, 81279); Nile River, including Lake Albert (Ref. 4903, 5331); Lake Turkana and Omo River (Ref. 2880, 5331, 80290); and Congo River basin (Ref. 2880, 80290).
Diagnosis:  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). Description: general body shape elongate; gill rakers few (3-6/8-10), rather long and normally developed (Ref. 80290, 81279). Coloration: body with distinct longitudinal dark lines following scale rows; lower caudal-fin lobe as well as anterior end of anal fin bright red; other fins uniformly grey (Ref. 80290, 81279).
Biology:  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).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 08 May 2019 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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