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Distichodus engycephalus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CHARACIFORMES DISTICHODONTIDAE

Scientific Name: Distichodus engycephalus
Species Authority: Günther, 1864
Common Name(s):
English Grass-eater, Grass-eaters, Perch, Perch (FB)
Synonym(s):
Distichodus touteei Pellegrin, 1906

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Azeroual, A., Entsua-Mensah, M., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P. & Moelants, T.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.
Justification:
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 north eastern and western Africa. The species used to be found in the lower Nile and was caught at Cairo. It is now Regionally Extinct in north Africa, most likely due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam (completed 1970) which has changed the flow regime of the Nile. There is no immigration from outside the region. It is estimated that less than 5 % of the species is found in the central Africa region and it is therefore categorised as Not Applicable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is patchily distributed from Guinea to Ethiopia.

Central Africa:In Lower Guinea, Distichodus engycephalus occurs in the Cross River basin, Cameroon.

Northern Africa: This species used to be caught from the Nile at Cairo, but is now Regionally Extinct.

Northeast Africa: It is found in the Jebel system, White Nile, Sudan, as well as Baro River, Ethiopia.

Western Africa: It is known from the Niger, Volta, Ogun, Cross and Chad basins, also known from Sénégal (Daget and Gosse 1984).
Countries:
Native:
Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Chad; Ethiopia; Ghana; Guinea; Mali; Nigeria; Senegal; South Sudan; Sudan
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: No information available.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Distichodus engycephalus is a demersal species which prefers flowing water over rocky bottoms. Distichodus engycephalusfeeds on diatoms, filamentous algae, insects and plant material.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In certain regions, overfishing, drought, dam construction and aquatic weeds have a large impact on the species. In Ghana this is a commercially harvested food fish, and thus overfishing is a potential threat. Deforestation and bad agricultural practices may pose potential threats to the habitats of this species. Increasing farming activities in these northern basins may also result in increasing levels of pesticides and other agrochemicals that leach into the water bodies and pose threats to the health of the fish. These two threats are especially relevant in the Black Volta. Another threat is pollution of the water bodies from inadequately treated human waste, for in many of these areas, water bodies are ultimately the receptacles for domestic waste. In the Oti, one major threat is aquatic weeds, which alter the habitat of the fish and may affect all sorts of things such as oxygen levels. In extreme cases, excessive proliferation of aquatic weeds may lead to massive fish kills. In the White Volta, effluents from mining activities may also pose a threat to this fish species. Increasing farming activities may also result in increasing levels of pesticides and other agrochemicals that leach into the water bodies and pose threats to the health of the fish. Another major threat is pollution of the water bodies by inadequately treated human waste and by domestic discharges arising from increasing residential developments (Entsua-Mensah 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known. Policy-based actions are required for this species, along with population trend monitoring and habitat maintenance.

Citation: Azeroual, A., Entsua-Mensah, M., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P. & Moelants, T. 2010. Distichodus engycephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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