Alestes macrophthalmus 

Scope: Global & Pan-Africa
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Characiformes Alestidae

Scientific Name: Alestes macrophthalmus Günther, 1867
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Torpedo Robber
French Ablette
Alestes macrophthalmus ssp. tanganica Hoedeman, 1951
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).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Moelants, T. & Hanssens, M.
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, east and west Africa.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widespread in lakes and rivers throughout eastern, central and western Africa:

Central Africa: Alestes macrophthalmus is known essentially from whole the Congo River basin, including some coastal basins of Cameroon, Ogowe River in Gabon, and Lake Tanganyika and effluents (Paugy 1984), but not in the Lower Congo.

Eastern Africa: Within eastern Africa this species is found in Lake Tanganyika and its affluent rivers and streams, including Malagarasi.

Western Africa: It also inhabits the Cross Rivers (Nigeria).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Nigeria; Rwanda; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information is available on the population of this species, although in eastern Africa it is never abundant in fisheries catches.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Alestes macrophthalmus is a pelagic species. It occurring in rivers and lake's inshore waters generally in the reach of a river delta. It feeds on insects, mostly of chironomid larvae. This species has been reported to be potentially dominant in local fish fauna, particularly in the Lake Chad region. Lateral migration for floodplain spawning.

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Little information is reported on threats to this species. In central Africa, it has commercial importance. In eastern Africa it is reportedly threatened by water turbidity and siltation as a consequence of erosion and farming extension on the watersheds.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Little information on conservation measures is available for this species, though the population trend should be monitored. Within western Africa, part of the range is included within the Ramsar sites at Malagarasi and the Lake Chad Basin.

Citation: Moelants, T. & Hanssens, M. 2010. Alestes macrophthalmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T182229A7836870. . Downloaded on 16 October 2018.
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