Hepsetus odoe 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Characiformes Hepsetidae

Scientific Name: Hepsetus odoe (Bloch, 1794)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Kafue Pike, African Pike, Kafue Pike Characin, 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)
Countries occurrence:
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
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common and widespread.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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.
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

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.

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) -> 5.5. 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)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.13. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Inland Deltas

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.4. Marine & freshwater aquaculture -> 2.4.1. Subsistence/artisinal aquaculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

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

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   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: Entsua-Mensah, M., Lalèyè, P., Marshall, B., Moelants, T. & Tweddle, D. 2010. Hepsetus odoe. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T167942A6421049. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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