Mastacembelus armatus (Lacep├Ęde, 1800)
Zig-zag eel
Mastacembelus armatus
photo by Vikram, B.

Family:  Mastacembelidae (Spiny eels)
Max. size:  90 cm (male/unsexed); max.weight: 500.0 g
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; pH range: 6.5 - 7.5; dH range: 15, potamodromous
Distribution:  Asia: Pakistan to Viet Nam and Indonesia.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 33-40; Dorsal soft rays (total): 67-82; Anal 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).
Biology:  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).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 11 August 2019 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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