Rastrineobola argentea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Cypriniformes Cyprinidae

Scientific Name: Rastrineobola argentea
Species Authority: (Pellegrin, 1904)
Common Name(s):
English Silver Cyprinid
Neobola argentea Pellegrin, 1904
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. and Fricke, R. (eds). 2016. Catalog of Fishes: genera, species, references. Updated 8 February 2016. Available at: (Accessed: 22 February 2016).
Taxonomic Notes: Also recorded as Engraulicypris argenteus (old name) (Seegers et al. 2003).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-03-07
Assessor(s): FishBase team RMCA & Geelhand, D.
Reviewer(s): Kishe, M., Natugonza, V., Nyingi, D. & Snoeks, J.
Contributor(s): Musschoot, T., Boden, G. & Bayona, J.D.R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Darwall, W.R.T.
Rastrineobola argentea is under heavy fishing pressure but it has a fairly large extent of occurrence. It has a short generation time and hence a rapid reproductive turnover and resilience. This species is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Lake Victoria drainage, Lake Kyoga, Lake Nabugabo and the Victoria Nile (Greenwood 1966).
Countries occurrence:
Kenya; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In spite of an intensified exploitation by man, Nile Perch and piscivorous birds, the R. argentea population increased significantly after the population boom of the introduced Nile Perch. Fishing yields indeed indicate a rapid increase in population size. For example, Wanink (1999) reported an increase in yield from 1,000 metric tons in 1968 to over 80,000 metric tons in 1989 and acoustic surveys (1999–2001) have also indicated an increasing biomass (Ogutu-Ohwayo et al. 2002). One of the explanations of this increase is the fact that the disappearance of most of the zooplanktivorous haplochromines after the Nile Perch boom may have reduced the competition for food (Witte et al. 1992).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Rastrineobola argentea is highly adapted to pelagic life (Corbet 1961). In Lake Victoria it has a lake-wide distribution both inshore and offshore (Van Oijen 1995). It is mostly observed in the zero to 20 m depth range, but eggs and fry may be found down to 68 m (Graham 1929, Wanink 1998). Adults stay near the bottom during the day and rise to the surface at night (Witte and de Winter 1995). Juvenile fish migrate away from the shore after spending their larval stage in shallow areas (Wanink 1999). In Lake Kyoga R. argentea occurs in open water away from water-lily swamps and in the Victoria Nile it is caught in turbulent regions (Greenwood 1966). It feeds on zooplankton and surface insects (Corbet 1961, Greenwood 1966) and it is eaten by birds and siluroids, Schilbe mystus, Clarias gariepinus and Bagrus docmak (Corbet 1961). It is believed to spawn inshore (Wanink 1998) with an estimated fecundity of >1,000 eggs. Graham (1929) mentions that R. argentea spawns in the lake and produces floating eggs. The maximum size is 9.0 cm SL (Eccles 1992).
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for human consumption. Commercial fishing for R. argentea began in the late 1980s in Uganda, and landings have increased almost exponentially since then, making it now the most important fishery (by mass) in Lake Victoria.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Fishery exploitation pressure is increasing, and combined with predation pressure from the Nile Perch, it is associated with a suite of life history responses in R. argentea, including: decreased body size, maturation at smaller sizes, and increased reproductive effort (larger eggs; and higher relative fecundity, clutch volume, and ovary weight) (Sharpe et al. 2012). Reduction in mesh size from 10 mm to 5 mm seines and use of mosquito seines form a potential danger for the fishery. Parasite infestation by the cestode Ligula intestinalis is an additional threat, as it reduces the reproductive output (Cowx et al. 2008). It does not appear to be adversely affected by the eutrophication problems of Lake Victoria (T.K. Twongo pers. comm., East Africa Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment workshop, Dec. 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are known for this species.

Citation: FishBase team RMCA & Geelhand, D. 2016. Rastrineobola argentea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T61257A47242399. . Downloaded on 22 January 2017.
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