Alestes macrophthalmus Günther, 1867
Torpedo robber
photo by Mertens, P.

Family:  Alestidae (African tetras)
Max. size:  60 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic; freshwater,
Distribution:  Africa: Congo River basin: from Pool Malebo (Ref. 42480) up to the upper Lualaba (Ref. 2970, 42019, 45616, 80290) and Luapula (Ref. 1878, 42135, 80290, 85675) in Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Angola and Zambia. Lower Guinea: found in coastal River basins in Cameroon, Gabon and the Republic of Congo (Ref. 80290). Also reported from Lake Tanganyika, the Malagarazi River (Ref. 36901) and the Rusizi River (Ref. 98755).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-11; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 19-23. Diagnosis: very well developed adipose eyelid (Ref. 42019, 80290, 81279); 18-20 branched anal-fin rays (Ref. 2880, 42019, 80290, 81279). 16-20 branched rays in Tanganyika specimens (Ref. 36899, 45485). 17-22 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; dorsal-fin origin at about same level of pelvic-fin insertions (Ref. 2880, 80290, 81279). Sexual dimorphism affecting shape of anal fin (Ref. 80290, 81279). Description: well developed fontanel (Ref. 2880). Anal fin: III, 18-20 (Ref. 2880, 42019, 80290, 81279) or III, 16-20 (Ref. 36899, 45485). Dorsal fin: II, 8 (Ref. 2970) or III,8 (Ref. 36901). Coloration: silvery body, back darker bluish or greenish, lower sides and ventral part white; pectorals and ventrals sometimes blackish (Ref. 2880, 80290, 81279).
Biology:  Omnivore; remnants of insect larvae (Ref. 36901), weed, beetles and other insects (Ref. 42135) and fish (Ref. 36899) found in stomach. Juveniles predominantly insectivore, piscivore as adults (Ref. 85675).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 10 May 2019 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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