Mecistops cataphractus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Mecistops cataphractus
Species Authority: (Cuvier, 1825)
Common Name/s:
English Slender-snouted Crocodile, African Slender-snouted Crocodile
French Crocodile au long museau, Crocodile à museau allongé d'Afrique, Faux gavial Africaine
Spanish Cocodrilo hociquifino Africano
Crocodylus cataphractus Cuvier, 1825
Mecistops bennettii Gray, 1844
Mecistops leptorhynchus Bennett, 1835
Taxonomic Notes: Recent DNA and morphological studies suggest that this species may belong in its own monotypic genus, Mecistops (McAliley et al. 2006), but at present most continue to use Crocodylus as the genus for this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 2.3
Year Published: 1996
Date Assessed: 1996-08-01
Needs updating
Assessor/s: Crocodile Specialist Group
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Occurs in central and western Africa.
Angola (Angola); Benin; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Mali; Mauritania; Nigeria; Sierra Leone; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Zambia
Possibly extinct:
Gambia; Guinea-Bissau; Senegal
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A highly aquatic species, found primarily in riverine habitat with dense vegetation cover. Also found in large lakes. Individuals have been found in more brackish water, near the coast, and even on an offshore island (Bioko). These reports are unusual, but they do indicate a moderate tolerance of salinity.

Has terrestial nest sites and basking areas.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is listed on CITES Appendix I.
Citation: Crocodile Specialist Group 1996. Mecistops cataphractus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 17 April 2014.
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