Teleostei (teleosts) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Alestidae
Etymology: Hydrocynus: Greek, hydr = water + Greek, kyon = dog (Ref. 45335).
More on author: Cuvier.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical (Ref. 5331)
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).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 20.0, range 21 - ? cm
Max length : 78.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2880); max. published weight: 15.5 kg (Ref. 13337); max. reported age: 4 years (Ref. 2757)
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).
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).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Paugy, D. and S.A. Schaefer, 2007. Alestidae. p. 347-411. In M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G. Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) Poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres de basse Guinée, ouest de l'Afrique centrale/The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, west-central Africa. Vol. 1. Coll. Faune et Flore tropicales 42. Istitut de recherche pour le développement, Paris, France, Muséum nationale d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royale de l'Afrique centrale, Tervuren, Belgique. 800 p. (Ref. 80290)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion