Oreochromis lepidurus (Boulenger, 1899)
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Family:  Cichlidae (Cichlids), subfamily: Pseudocrenilabrinae
Max. size:  19 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  benthopelagic; freshwater; brackish,
Distribution:  Africa: lower Congo River basin in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 2). Also reported from Angola (Ref. 2, 55074, 74387, 120641), where it probably occurs in the lower Congo River and/or coastal rivers between the lower Congo and Bengo (Ref. 2).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 15-17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-12; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-9; Vertebrae: 28. Diagnosis: mature male with tuberculate genital papilla, some of the tubercles prolonged into filaments (Ref. 2). Caudal fin of adults densely scaled, usually with a reticulate melanin pattern (Ref. 2, 55074). 28 vertebrae; total dorsal rays 24-27; 19-24 lower gill-rakers; in adults snout long, preorbital bone deep and blade of lower pharyngeal 2-2.3 times the median length of the toothed area; outer teeth of jaws bicuspid unless by wearing down of minor cusp (Ref. 2). Description: body shape ovoid (Ref. 52307). Head profile steep (Ref. 52307) but straight, sometimes slightly convex (Ref. 55074). Snout relatively long (Ref. 52307), broader than long, as long as or a little shorter than postocular part of head (Ref. 2989), with convex upper profile (Ref. 1870, 1879, 2989). Mouth rather small (Ref. 2989). Maxillary extending to between nostril and eye (Ref. 1870, 1879, 2989, 53262, 55074). Teeth with slender shafts, the outer spoon-shaped with a small minor cusp that may be worn down; inner teeth tricuspid with subequal cusps; tooth bands of 4 rows, widening to 5 at the sides of the lower jaw (Ref. 2). Scales on cheek in 2 or usually 3 rows (Ref. 2, 1870, 1879, 2989), width of scaly part less than diameter of eye (Ref. 2989). Eye equal to or a little less than preorbital depth (Ref. 2989). Lateral apophyses of lower pharyngeal bone extending behind the toothed area, which is heart-shaped, including a broad area of dark-brown-tipped very slender teeth; 5 scales between bases of pectoral and pelvic fins (Ref. 2). Opercular scales large (Ref. 1870, 1879, 53262). Gill-rakers short; scales cycloid (Ref. 1870, 2989, 53262). 17-21 scales in upper part of lateral line, 11-13 in lower part (Ref. 2989). Last dorsal fin spine longest; third anal fin spine nearly as long as last dorsal fin spine (Ref. 1870, 1879, 2989). Dorsal fin almost reaching base of caudal fin in juveniles anterior third of caudal fin in adults; anal fin reaching as far as dorsal fin (Ref. 55074). Pectoral fin as long as or a little longer than head (Ref. 1870, 1879, 2989, 53262), reaching vent (Ref. 55074). Pelvic fins never reaching anal fin but generally reaching a little further than pectoral fins (Ref. 55074). Caudal fin densely scaled (Ref. 2, 1870, 1879, 2989, 53262, 55074), with straight posterior border and hardly rounded corners (Ref. 55074). Caudal peduncle deeper than long (Ref. 1870, 1879, 2989, 53262). Bifid tassel of tubercles and filaments on the male genital papilla (Ref. 2). Coloration: Preserved: buff with faint traces of about 8 vertical bars on dorsal half of body; vaguely outlined Tilapia-mark (Ref. 2). Caudal fin covered with a grey reticulum (Ref. 2, 1870, 2989). Light and dark maculae in unpaired fins (Ref. 52307). In life: upper part of head and back green-brown; flanks paler brownish yellow; 6-8 dark brownish vertical bands on upper flanks; scales on flanks with brownish red spot in the middle; chest and belly yellowish, turning reddish when sexually mature; dorsal fin pale green-brown with a pale horizontal band; soft dorsal with irregular pale stripes or spots; Tilapia-mark clearly present but vaguely outlined; anal fin olive-green to brown, with less spots than dorsal fin; caudal fin brown with irregular light stripes or spots; juveniles silvery (Ref. 55074).
Biology:  Microphagous, using plankton (Ref. 2, 55074). Maternal, ovophilic mouthbrooder (Ref. 52307).
IUCN Red List Status: Endangered (EN); Date assessed: 16 February 2009 (B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)) Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 19.12.90
Modified by: Musschoot, Tobias - 13.12.17
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 30.08.94

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