Mastacembelus frenatus 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Synbranchiformes Mastacembelidae

Scientific Name: Mastacembelus frenatus
Species Authority: Boulenger, 1901
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English East African Spiny Eel, Longtail Spiny-eel, Longtail Spiny Eel, Shorttail Spiny Eel, Spiny Eel
Aethiomastacembelus frenatus (Boulenger, 1901)
Afromastacembelus frenatus (Boulenger, 1901)
Athieomastacembelus frenatus (Boulenger, 1901)
Caecomastacembelus frenatus (Boulenger, 1901)
Mastacembelus mellandi Boulenger, 1914
Mastacembelus mutombotombo Pellegrin, 1936
Mastacembelus taeniatus Boulenger, 1901
Mastacembelus thompsoni Boulenger, 1918
Mastacembelus victoriae Boulenger, 1903
Taxonomic Notes: Also reported as Mastacembelus victoriae Boulenger, 1903, a junior synonym (Matthes 1962). The taxonomic status of mastacembelids from the Athi River drainage needs investigation (Seegers et al. 2003). Also reported under the generic names Caecomastacembelus and Afromastacembelus; here included in Mastacembelus (Vreven, accepted).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Bayona, J., Marshall, B., Moelants, T., Ntakimazi, G., Tweddle, D. & Twongo, 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 central, eastern and southern Africa.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Mastacemebelus frenatus is known from Uganda and Kenya, south to Namibia and Botswana.

Central Africa: It has been found in the Kasai, the upper Congo and the Luapula-Mweru system.

Eastern Africa: This species is present in the Lake Victoria drainage. Also known from the Nabugabo systems, the Victoria Nile and Aswa River, as well as Tanganyika and major affluents, i.e. Rusizi and Malagarazi, Akagera, Lake Kyoga and associated smaller lakes and rivers. Records by Copley (1952, 1958) from the Athi River system might refer to this species. Most likely there are no mastacembelids in the Tana system despite records by Copley (1952, 1958) (Seegers et al. 2004).

Southern Africa: It occurs in the upper Zambezi, Okavango and Kafue systems (Skelton 2001), and is widespread throughout the upper Zambezi system including many northern tributaries such as the Kabompo and West Lunga (Tweddle et al. 2004)
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Namibia; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No detailed information. Common but not abundant in fisheries catches. The relative index of abundance was less than 0.01 kg/hr in waters up to 30m of Lake Victoria during the 1969-1971 survey (Kudhongania and Cordone 1974). Current surveys 1977-1999 show catch rates of 0.2 kg/h in Kenyan waters (Okaranon et al. 1999). The population may be increasing in Lake Victoria despite a slight contraction in EOO.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a demersal species. It is occurs in swamps, marginal wetlands and shallow coastal waters (Travers et al. 1986). Also found in temporary streams, rivers and floodplains, generally living amongst vegetation, tree roots or rocks. This species is occurs the edge of gentle rapids but does not occur in severe rapids, such as Sioma and Katombora on the upper Zambezi, where it is replaced by Mastacemebelus vanderwaali. It feeds on fish and insects, mainly on insect larvae (Fermon 1997). Little is known about its ecology. Information on reproduction and growth is not known.

Use and Trade [top]

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In eastern Africa, this species is threatened by:
- Predation by Nile Perch.
- Illegal fishing practice.
- Pollution of the inshore environment.
- Wetland loss due to agriculture expansion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known. More information is needed on this species biology and ecology, and population trends should be monitored. Habitat conservation is also required in eastern Africa.

Citation: Bayona, J., Marshall, B., Moelants, T., Ntakimazi, G., Tweddle, D. & Twongo, T. 2010. Mastacembelus frenatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T182835A7981560. . Downloaded on 21 October 2016.
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