Brycon orthotaenia 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Characiformes Bryconidae

Scientific Name: Brycon orthotaenia Günther, 1864
Brycon lundii Lütken, 1875

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2cd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Reis, R & Lima, F.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Darwall, W., Ram, M. & Smith, K. (SRLI Freshwater Fish Evaluation Workshop)
Assessed as Vulnerable due to an inferred population reduction of greater than 30% over the last 10 years, based on a decline in habitat quality, fisheries catches and forest cover. In addition, there are reports of some populations being close to extinction. There is no evidence that the threats which B. orthotaenia faces will cease in the near future, and therefore it is suspected that population declines will continue.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is known from the Lower São Francisco River basin in Brazil but not below the great dam of Sobradinho.
Countries occurrence:
Brazil (Alagoas, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Sergipe)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is decreasing, although detailed information is not yet available.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:B. orthotaenia is a benthopelagic (ecological region at the lowest level of the water body) species. Plant material is an important part of the diet of adult Brycon species; and thus these fish play a role in the dispersal of plants whose fruits they eat (Berra 2001).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is fished for human consumption at local and national levels; although this alone is not thought to causing a threat to the global population, the harvesting adds to the decline in the numbers when added to the other issues (see Threats).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is suspected that the species has declined considerably over the past several decades in the São Francisco basin. It is likely that due to damming over the lowest portion of the region it is no longer present.

Human population growth and an increase in agricultural and industrial activities, as well as dam construction, mineral extraction, deforestation and predatory fishing have caused environment degradation in the São Francisco river. It was one of the main fishing resources in Brazil, but the fisheries are presently experiencing a decline. Taking this into consideration, B. orthotaenia, which is an important species for commercial fishing, is threatened with extinction in some regions of the São Francisco basin (Gonçalves et al. 2006).

Due to their dependence on plant material in their diet, the destruction of rainforests surrounding their habitat could have serious consequences for this species. The São Francisco basin has lost 64.4% of its original forest (based on an estimate of the extent of closed canopy forest in existence 8,000 years ago in the absence of human impact), and the basin is now primarily cropland (Water Resources eAtlas 2005).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation actions in place at present, and a population monitoring programme is urgently needed to better understand the threats and numbers remaining, with a recovery programme in mind.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.3. Wetlands (inland) - Shrub Dominated Wetlands
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Energy production & mining -> 3.2. Mining & quarrying
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.3. Trade trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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

Anon. 2001. Fish collection database of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen. Unpublished.

Eschmeyer, W.N. 1998. Catalogue of fishes. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

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

Géry, J. 1977. Characoids of the world. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey, USA.

Godinho, H.P., Miranda, M.O.T., Godinho, A.L. and Santos, J.E. 1997. Pesca e biologia do surubim Pseudoplatysoma coruscans no Rio Sao Francisco. In: Miranda, M.O.T. (Org) Surubim. (ed.), Belo Horizonte: IBAMA. (Coleção Meio Ambiente, Série Estudos Pesca, 19), pp. 27-42.

Gonçalves, T.L., Bazzoli, N. and Brito, M.F.G. 2006. Gametogenesis and reproduction of the matrinxã Brycon orthotaenia (Günther, 1864) (Pisces: Characidae) in the São Francisco river, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology 66(2a): 513 - 522.

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

Klinkhardt, M, Tesche, M. and Greven, H. 1995. Database of fish chromosomes..

Lima, F.C.T. 2003. Characidae - Bryconinae (Characins, tetras). In: R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds), Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America, pp. 174-181. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.

Lins, L.V., Machado, A.B.M., Costa, C.M.R. and Herrmann, G. 1997. Roteiro Metodológico Para Elaboração de Listas de Espécies Ameaçadas de Extinção (Contendo a Lista Oficial de Fauna Ameaçada de Extinção de Minas Gerais). Publicações Avulsas da Fundção Biodiversitas.

Moravec, F. 1998. Nematodes of freshwater fishes of the Neotropical region. Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Praha.

Rosa, R.S. and Menezes, N.A. 1996. Relaçao preliminar das espécies de peixes (Pisces, Elasmobranchii, Actinopterygii) Ameaçadas no Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 13(3): 647-667.

Vascon, S.A., Pileggi, M. and Moreira-Filho, O. 1984. Estudo citogenetico em Brycon lundii (Pisces, Characidae). Ciência Cult 36: 813.

Water Resources eAtlas. 2005. Watersheds of the World. Available at: (Accessed: 10th November).

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. Brycon orthotaenia. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2009: e.T167744A6375829. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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