Pantodon buchholzi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Osteoglossiformes Pantodontidae

Scientific Name: Pantodon buchholzi Peters, 1876
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Freshwater Butterflyfish, Freshwater Butterfly fish
French Poisson papillon, Poisson volant
Pantodon buccholzi Peters, 1876
Pantodon buccholzii Peters, 1876
Pantodon buchholtzi Peters, 1876
Pantodon buchholzi macrolepis Brüning, 1911
Pantodon buchholzi schizonotus Brüning, 1911
Pantodon bucholzi Peters, 1876
Taxonomic Notes: Recent molecular analyses indicate that Pantodon buchholzi is heterospecific (Lavoué in lit.) and further studies are needed to clarify the taxonomy and distribution of this species complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-02-16
Assessor(s): Moelants, T.
Reviewer(s): Brummett, R., Mbe Tawe, A.N., Dening Touokong, C., Reid, G.M., Snoeks, J. Staissny, M., Moelants, T., Mamonekene, V., Ndodet, B., Ifuta, S.N.B., Chilala, A., Monsembula, R., Ibala Zamba, A., Opoye Itoua, O., Pouomogne, V., Darwall, W. & Smith, K.
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central and western Africa.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is patchily distributed from Benin to Chad, and south to Gabon.

Central Africa: Pantodon buchholzi is known from Pool Malebo (Stanley Pool) upstream to Tanganga River, Lualaba River basin. Elsewhere, it is known from the Lower Guinea region from the Cross River (Nigeria), mouths of small coastal basins between the Cross and the Sanaga Rivers (Cameroon), and the southern part of the Ogowe (Gabon).

Western Africa: Specimens have been collected from Lower Cross Niger Delta (Imo and Osse) and Lower Ogun but the distribution seems to be much wider that this. Also reported from Lokoja near the confluence of the Benue and Niger, the Lower Benue, Chari in the Chad basin, and Lower Oueme in Benin.
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Gabon; Nigeria
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:No information available.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Pantodon buchholzi is a pelagic, potamodromous species. It is a species from calm waters (White 1994). It lives in swamps, creeks and backwaters (Olaosebikan and Raji 1998), and inhabits the calmer parts of rivers (Matthes 1964), where it can be seen on the surface waters (Gosse 1963). They are capable of jumping out of the water, to search for insects or to escape from predators (Teugels 1990). It is not a glider, but a ballistic jumper (Saidel et al. 2004), with a tremendous jumping power (Olaosebikan and Raji 1998). Pantodon buchholzi is an exophageous insectivore, feeding on terrestrial insects and aquatic larvae and nymphs of insects (Matthes 1964). It also feeds on crustaceans and fish (Mills and Vevers 1989). It was introduced in 1905 to European aquarists (White 1994, Arnold 1935). Pantodon buchholzi is a favourite fish for aquarists; in the aquarium it can rest with the top of the head and the large pectoral fins touching the surface, while the long rays of the pelvic fin hang down perpendicularly, forming a tempting morsel for other aggressive fish in the same tank, and therefore it should be stocked together with only bottom dwellers (Reed et al. 1967). Pantodon buchholzi lays 80 to 220 eggs (Riehl and Baensch 1996).
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for human consumption, as well as the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It has commercial value as an aquarium fish.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None known.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)

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) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Pan-Africa freshwater assessment references. Currently, full citations for references used in the Pan-Africa biodiversity assessments are unavailable on the Red List web site. These will be added to the site in 2011. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.3). Available at: (Accessed: 2 September 2010).

Citation: Moelants, T. 2010. Pantodon buchholzi. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T183157A8057176. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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