Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Siluriformes Siluridae

Scientific Name: Silurus mento
Species Authority: Regan, 1904
Common Name(s):
English Kunming-lake Catfish, Kunming Catfish
Taxonomic Notes: Original and valid as Silurus mento Regan 1904.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii); D ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Chen, X.-Y. & Yang, B.
Reviewer(s): Kullander, F. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Smith, K. (IUCN Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit)
Silurus mento is endemic to Lake Dianchi (surface area 292.6 km²), Yunnan Province, China. The species occurs only in the littoral zone of the lake so its extent of occurrence is estimated at about 20% of the lake area: 63.5 km². It was common before 1950s, started to become rare in late 1950s, and has not been found in the lake since the 1970s. This is most likely due to habitat loss and introduced species. It is most likely extinct from the lake, but further surveys are needed to confirm this and the possibility that a population may be present in connected reservoirs such as Songhuaba.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Insufficiently Known (K)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Lake Dianchi, Yunnan Province, China. The species is not yet known from elsewhere but it maybe exists in some reservoirs, such as Songhuaba.
Countries occurrence:
Possibly extinct:
China (Yunnan)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 63.5
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 63.5
Number of Locations: 1
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1884
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1890
Lower depth limit (metres): 10
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Only ever known from Lake Dianchi itself, there hass no record of this species since 1970s. The population size is probably very small.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 0-50

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lives in the littoral zone of the lake with plenty of waterweeds and is carnivorous. It stays at bottom of water by day and comes out to the surface of water seeking food by dawn and dusk.
Systems: Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Movement patterns: Nomadic

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Its loss from the lake is likely due to habitat loss and introduced fish species. This fish is relying on littoral zone with macrophytes, its disappearance from the lake is obviously related to loss of macrophytes, which result in these big fishes exposed in the shallow water and increased mortality from its natural enemy and human beings, and being short of food etc. Predation of eggs and juveniles by introduced species may also play an important role.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None.

Citation: Chen, X.-Y. & Yang, B. 2008. Silurus mento. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T20227A9180705. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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