Brycinus nurse 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Characiformes Alestidae

Scientific Name: Brycinus nurse (Rüppell, 1832)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Nurse Tetra, Characin
Alestes dageti Blache & Miton, 1960
Alestes erythropterus Pellegrin, 1907
Alestes nurse (Rüppell, 1832)
Alestes nurse ssp. nana Pellegrin, 1935
Brachyalestes rueppellii Günther, 1864
Chalceus guile Valenciennes, 1850
Myletes nurse Rüppell, 1832
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds). 2015. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 2 September 2015. Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2015).
Taxonomic Notes: This species is also reported from Lake Turkana under the old name Alestes nurse (Rüppel, 1832). Turkana specimens of this species are noticeably smaller (12 cm fork length) than specimens from other populations, which grow up to 218 mm SL. Therefore the Turkana population was described as a distinct subspecies (Seegers et al. 2003), however Brycinus nurse nana is not a valid subspecies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Azeroual, A. & Moelants, T.
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 eastern Africa. Due to uncertainty of this species distribution, it has been assessed as Data Deficient for northern and north eastern Africa. In the central Africa regional assessment it has been categorised as Not Applicable as it is thought that less than 5% of this species range falls within this region.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is wide spread across much of Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia, from Egypt to Democratic Republic of Congo.

Central Africa: In Lower Guinea, it is known from the Cross and Meme basins.

Eastern Africa: This species is found in Lake Albert, the Albert and Murchison Niles, and the Aswa River system (This species is known from upper Nile system). It is also present in Lake Turkana

Northern Africa: It is present in the upper Egyptian Nile and Lake Nasser (also known as Lake Nubia)

Northeast Africa: This species is found in the Ghazal and Jebel systems, White and Blue Niles, and Nile to Lake Nasser.

Western Africa: It is widely distributed in the Nile, Chad, Niger (including the Benue river), Ogun, Ouémé, Mono, Sio, Volta, Bia, Comoé, Agnébi, Bandama, Sassandra, Konkouré, Gambia, Tominé (Corubal) and Senegal basins.
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Côte d'Ivoire; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Little information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Brycinus nurse is a pelagic, potamodromous species. It inhabits rivers, lakes, irrigation canals and fringing vegetation. It feeds on zooplankton, Caridina, insects, snails and vegetation (Bailey 1994), and less frequently small fishes mainly Haplochromis spp. Dwarf populations are described in lake basins. It spawns at the beginning of the rainy season.
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for human consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Populations of this species are threatened by heavy commercial fishing pressure for the aquarium trade. In northern Africa, dams, water pollution (agriculture, domestic and commercial/industrial), groundwater extraction and drought all pose possible threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No information available. More research is needed into this species population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status and threats, as well as monitoring and potential conservation measures.

Citation: Azeroual, A. & Moelants, T. 2010. Brycinus nurse. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T182026A7794808. . Downloaded on 23 September 2017.
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