Hepsetus odoe


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Hepsetus odoe
Species Authority: (Bloch, 1794)
Common Name(s):
English African pike, Kafue pike, Kafue pike characin, Kafue pike (FB), Pike characid
French Brochet
Hepsetus odoe lineata (Pellegrin, 1926)
Hydrocyonoides cuvieri Castelnau, 1861
Hydrocyonoides odoe (Bloch, 1794)
Salmo odoe Bloch, 1794
Sarcodaces odoe (Bloch, 1794)
Sarcodaces odoe lineata Pellegrin, 1926
Sarcodaces odoe microlepis Boulenger, 1901
Xiphorhamphus odoe (Bloch, 1794)
Xiphorynchus odoe (Bloch, 1794)
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon is polyspecific, but most probably only one species occurs in Western Africa. The southern African species will be assigned to a separate species in future after taxonomic study. A taxonomic revision is planned (Snoeks, pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-05-01
Assessor(s): Entsua-Mensah, M., Lalèyè, P., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. Although it is now thought to be a species complex, it is likely that all species are widely distributed and not facing any major threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for central, southern and western Africa.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Hepsetus odoe is a species complex of three or four different species, and is in need of further taxonomic study. As it is currently recognized, this is a widespread species, known from Senegal to Central Africa Republic, and south to Namibia and Botswana. It is absent in the rift valley lakes.

Central Africa: Hepsetus odoe is known from throughout the Congo River basin. In Lower Guinea found throughout the region (Cross Wouri, Sanaga, Nyong, Kienke, Ntem, Benito, Como, Ogowe, Nyanga, Kouilou, Loeme and Chiloango rivers).

Southern Africa: It is present in the upper Zambezi and Kafue systems, as well as the Okavango and Cunene systems, but absent from the Zambian Congo (Skelton 2001).

Western Africa: This species is widespread from Sénégal to Cameroon. Including the Niger, Volta, Chad, Ogowe. In Ghana, also known from the Pra and Tano (Dankwa et al. 1999)
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Liberia; Mali; Namibia; Niger; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Togo; Zambia; Zimbabwe
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common and widespread.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Hepsetus odoe is a demersal, potamodromous species. It occurs in most coastal rivers, lakes and swamps (Roberts 1984) where it prefers quiet, deep water, like channels and lagoons of large floodplains. Juveniles and fry inhabit well-vegetated marginal habitats. The adults feed on fish, juveniles feed on small invertebrates and fish. Multiple spawner; breeds over the summer months. It is relatively short-lived, only 4-5 years (Skelton 1993). It builds a free-floating bubblenest. Hepsetus seems to prefer the upper courses of small rivers where Hydrocynus is absent or less abundant.
Systems: Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is harvested for human consumption.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has importance in subsistence fisheries in central Africa, and is a commercially collected aquarium fish.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species has some protection in reserves in southern Africa. More research is needed into the taxonomy of this species complex, as well as its biology and ecology.

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: Entsua-Mensah, M., Lalèyè, P., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D. 2010. Hepsetus odoe. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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