Cyphomyrus discorhynchus 

Scope: Global & Pan-Africa
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Osteoglossiformes Mormyridae

Scientific Name: Cyphomyrus discorhynchus (Peters, 1852)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Zambezi Parrotfish, Parrotfish
Cyphomyrus cubangoensis (Pellegrin, 1936)
Hippopotamyrus discorhynchus (Peters, 1852)
Marcusenius cubangoensissis Pellegrin, 1936
Mormyrus discorhynchus Peters, 1852
Petrocephalus discorhynchus (Peters, 1852)
Taxonomic Notes: Hippotomyrus has recently been restricted to four species (Hopkins et al. 2007). The genus Cyphomyrus has been resurrected and includes seven species from the Congo basin (Sullivan in lit.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Bills, R., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central, eastern and southern Africa.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania, south to Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.

Central Africa: Cyphomyrus discorhynchus is known from the Upper Kasai and the Upper Congo River basin.

Eastern Africa: It is distributed in Lake Rukwa (Seegers 1996), Lake Nyassa, Lake Tanganyika and affluent rivers including the Rusizi and Malagarasi rivers (De Vos et al. 2001). Also found in the Mtera dam, and Lake Malawi and its catchment and the Shire River.

Southern Africa: This species is widespread in the Zambezi River system, with the exception of the Kafue River. It is also found in the Buzi and Pungwe rivers to the south of the Zambezi.
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Currently, there is a lack of detailed population numbers and the global trend is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This  is a demersal species. It is a nocturnal shoaling species which favours large river channels with a soft bottom and fringing vegetation (Skelton 1993).  Found mainly in sheltered bays, lagoons and swampy areas.  It prefers deeper water to other small mormyrids but also occurs under fringing vegetation of sandy rivers. During the Zambezi flood in 2003, the species was caught in a stream overflowing from the rising main river into inland pans, and in a newly flooded field, suggesting lateral movements from the main river for breeding, stimulated by rising water levels (Tweddle et al.2004). It is a nocturnal shoaling species which, like other mormyrids, can generate a weak electric field around its body using specialized skeletal muscles, which it uses to detect small invertebrates on which it preys, and is often caught in large numbers by subsistence fishermen.  It feeds on insect larvae at night (Konings 1990).  Known to migrate up tributary rivers of Lake Kariba during rainy season, though it is not yet clear whether this is a breeding migration (Bell-Cross and Minshull 1988).  Breeds during the rainy season; females carry up to 5,000 eggs.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This is an aquarium fish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has commercial importance as an aquarium fish. As well as a risk of overfishing (particularly in lakes), illegal fishing, especially by use of poisons and small meshed nets across rivers threatens this species. In east Africa it is also threatened by pollution of the inshore riverine environment, silt loading, and deforestation and encroachment of wetlands for agriculture.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures or actions known.

Citation: Bills, R., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D. 2010. Cyphomyrus discorhynchus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T167949A6423451. . Downloaded on 18 August 2018.
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