Hypophthalmichthys nobilis 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
Species Authority: (Richardson, 1845)
Common Name(s):
English Bighead Carp
Aristichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845)
Hypophthalmichthys mantschuricu Kner, 1867
Leuciscus nobilis Richardson, 1845
Taxonomic Notes: Usually placed in the genus Aristichthys, but Howes (1981) showed that it is congeneric with Hypophthalmichthys species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-09-02
Assessor(s): Huckstorf, V.
Reviewer(s): Freyhof, J. & Allen, D.
The species is only native to central and southern China where it has been declining due to dams, overfishing and loss of habitat. The species may be threatened and is therefore assessed as Data Deficient due to the lack of knowledge regarding species population size and current population trends  and threats in its natural distribrution range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Hypophthalmichthys nobilis is reported to be native to central and south China (Kottelat and Freyhof 2007). Introduced to numerous countries and has achieved a near global distribution. Established reproductive populations in Europe, North America and Central Asia. 
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Armenia (Armenia); Belarus; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Dominican Republic; Egypt; Estonia; Fiji; France; Germany; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Malaysia; Mexico; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nepal; Netherlands; Pakistan; Panama; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Singapore; Slovakia; Sri Lanka; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Ukraine; United States; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In the second half of the 20th century, a marked decline in the abundance of this species was observed in its natural distribution range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In its natural distribution range, inhabits rivers with marked water-level fluctuations, overwinters in middle and lower stretches. Lives up to 20 years. Spawns for the first time at 5-6 years, 550-700 mm SL and 5-10 kg, earlier and smaller in subtropical areas. Migrates long distances upriver at the beginning of a rapid flood and water-level increases (in April-July depending on locality). Spawns during floods. Stops spawning if condition change and starts again with increase of water level. Spawns in upper water layer or even at water surfaces. Females spawn up to 1.1 million eggs in 1-3 portions depending on duration of high-water period. Eggs are yellowish, transparent, and hatch after about 2 days at temperatures around 25°C while drifting downstream in the deep open-water layer. If the river flow is blocked or if available river stretches are too short, eggs cannot drift long enough and fail to develop. After spawning, adults leave the river and migrate back to forage habitats. Larvae drift downstream and settle in floodplain lakes, shallow shores and backwaters with little or no current. In autumn-winter, when temperatures falls to 10°C, juveniles and adults form separate large schools and move downstream to deeper places in the main course of river to overwinter. Feed mostly on zooplankton, also algae. Often crossed with H. molitrix (source: Kottelat and Freyhof 2007).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Hypophthalmichthys nobilis is a commercially important fish species in China with high abundance in the catch (Wu et al. 2000). It is also used in aquaculture. Marketed fresh and frozen.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats to Hypophthalmichthys nobilis in its native distribution range are overfishing and river modifications (e.g. dams, dykes and floodgate construction and reclamation of floodplains into agriculture land) (Duan et. al 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not known if there are any conservation measures in place. More research and monitoring is recommended.

Citation: Huckstorf, V. 2012. Hypophthalmichthys nobilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T166172A1116524. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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