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Engraulicypris sardella

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA ACTINOPTERYGII CYPRINIFORMES CYPRINIDAE

Scientific Name: Engraulicypris sardella
Species Authority: (Günther, 1868)
Common Name(s):
English Lake Sardine

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor(s): Vreven, E. & Kazembe, J.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Programme)
Justification:
Widespread distribution throughout Lakes Malawi, Malombe, and the Shire river Basin with no major widespread threats identified.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Endemic to Lake Malawi, Lake Nyasa (see Eccles 1992), upper Shire River (Froese and Pauly 2003) and Lake Malombe.
Countries:
Native:
Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania, United Republic of
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: A pelagic species that occurs in shoals both near the shore and far out in the lake. It feeds on zooplankton. It reproduces throughout the year. Its larvae have been caught in the open lake near the surface. It is a very important fish in the lake being highly valued both for food and for bait. It also forms one of the chief food sources for other open water predatory species, such as Phamphochromis spp. Populations fluctuate greatly in tune with the supply of zooplankton. The spawning site of this species is still not known but is no longer believed to be in the offshore pelagic zone due to the absence of early stage eggs in the pelagic zone.Max. size: total length of 13.0 cm (Eccles 1992), though it rarely exceeds 10 cm.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Potential introduction of competing species. In the past it was hypothesised that this species is an inefficient planktivore compared with clupeids occupying similar niches in Lake Tanganyika (i.e., "kapenta"), It was therefore suggested that "kapenta" be introduced into Lake Malawi to utilise this food resource in the lake. This hypothesis has however been rejected by the majority of the scientific community working on African fishes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None.

Citation: Vreven, E. & Kazembe, J. 2006. Engraulicypris sardella. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 October 2014.
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