Steatogenys elegans 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Gymnotiformes Hypopomidae

Scientific Name: Steatogenys elegans
Species Authority: (Steindachner, 1880)
Common Name(s):
English Barred Knifefish
Spanish Anguila
Brachyhypopomus elegans (Steindachner, 1880)
Rhamphichthys elegans Steindachner, 1880
Rhamphichthys mirabilis Steindachner, 1880
Steatogenes elegans (Steindachner, 1880)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Reis, R & Lima, F.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
Assessed as Least Concern due to its extremely large distribution, ability to occupy a range of habitats, abundance, and the lack of any known major widespread threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Amazon and Orinoco basins and parts of the Guyanas.
Countries occurrence:
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; Guyana; Peru; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Extremely abundant.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:S. elegans is abundant in a variety of habitats, including the shallow and deep waters (up to 50 m) of swiftly flowing large rivers such as the nutrient-rich turbid white-water Amazon and Orinoco rivers, and in nutrient-poor black-water rivers. It is also common in the shallow lakes of Varzea floodplains and in the oxbow and mouth bay lakes of black-water rivers (Crampton et al. 2003). The members of this family tend to live within aquatic substrates such as leaf litter or floating vegetation. They are often highly resistant to low oxygen levels.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is harvested from the wild for the international pet trade although not at a level to cause concern for the population.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Although the species is collected for the pet trade, it is not causing a decline.  There are no current threats known.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures in place.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: No decline ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Albert, J.S. 2003. Hypopomidae (Bluntnose knifefishes). In: R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds), Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America, pp. 494-496. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.

Anon. 1996. Fish collection database of the University of British Columbia Fish Museum. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Anon. 1999. Fish collection database of the Natural History Museum. Natural History Museum, London (formerly British Museum of Natural History (BMNH)).

Anon. 2000. Fish collection database of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL). The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL), Ocean Springs, Mississippi, USA.

Anon. 2000. Fish collection database of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown, South Africa. J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology, Grahamstown.

Anon. 2000. The icthyological collection of the Zoological Museum Hamburg (ZMH). Division of Icthyology and Herpetology, Zoological.

Anon. 2001. Fish collection database of the National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution)..

Anon. 2002. Fish collection database of the American Museum of Natural History..

Barriga, R. 1991. Peces de agua dulce del Ecuador. Revista de Informacion tecnico-cientifica, Quito, Ecuador, Politecnica XVI(3): 7-88.

Crampton, W.G.R., Thorsen, D.H. and Albert, J.S. 2003. Steatogenys ocellatus: A New Species of Neotropical Electric Fish (Gymnotiformes: Hypopomidae) from the Lowland Amazon Basin. Copeia 1: 78-91.

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1996. PISCES..

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1997. PISCES. URL: gopher://

Froese, R. and Pauly, D. 2006. FishBase. Available at:

Hureau, J.-C. 1991. La base de données GICIM: Gestion informatisée des collections ichthyologiques du Muséum. Atlas Préliminaire des Poissons d'Eau Douce de France., pp. 225-227. Conseil Supérieur de la Pêche, Ministère de l'Environnement, CEMAGREF et Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris.

IUCN. 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2009.2). Available at: (Accessed: 3 November 2009).

Mago-Leccia, F. 1994. Electric fishes of the continental waters of America. FUDECI, Caracas, Venezuela.

Møller, P.R. 1995. Electric fishes: history and behavior. Chapman & Hall, London.

Ortega, H. and Vari, R.P. 1986. Annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of Peru. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 437: 1-25.

Riehl, R. and Baensch, H.A. 1996. Aquarien Atlas, Band 1..

Robins, C.R., Bailey, R.M., Bond, C.E., Brooker, J.R., Lachner, E.A., Lea, R.N. and Scott, W.B. 1991. World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada.

Swedish Museum of Natural History. 1999. NRM Ichthyology collection database. Ichthyology Section, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.

Varjo, M. 1981. Kalannimiluettelo (List of Finnish fish names). Luonnon Tutkija 85: 1-60.

Varjo, M., Koli, L. and Dahlström, H. 2004. Kalannimiluettelo (versio 10/03). Suomen Biologian Seura Vanamo Ry.

Wu, H.L., Shao, K.T. and Lai, C.F. 1999. Latin-Chinese dictionary of fishes names. The Sueichan Press, Taiwan.

Citation: Reis, R & Lima, F. 2009. Steatogenys elegans. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T167650A6362812. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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