Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Synbranchiformes Mastacembelidae

Scientific Name: Mastacembelus vanderwaali
Species Authority: Skelton (1976)
Common Name(s):
English Ocellated Spiny Eel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Tweddle, D. & Marshall, B.E.
Reviewer(s): Snoeks, J. (Freshwater Fish Red List Authority) & Darwall, W. (Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment Unit)
The species is common in Upper Zambezi rapids, with no immediate threats to this habitat.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Okavango and Upper Zambezi system (Skelton 2001), with some records from the Middle Zambezi.
Countries occurrence:
Botswana; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Restricted to crevices in rocky rapids. Feeds on insects taken from rocks (Skelton, 2001).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): None known. The species is well-protected because of its habitat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Zambezi National park above Victoria Falls gives some protection.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Skelton, P.H. 2001. A Complete Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa.

Citation: Tweddle, D. & Marshall, B.E. 2007. Mastacembelus vanderwaali. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63319A12655243. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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