Distichodus fasciolatus  Boulenger, 1898

Sharktail distichodus
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Distichodus fasciolatus
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes (Characins) > Distichodontidae (Distichodus)
Etymology: Distichodus: Greek, di = two + Greek, stix, stichos = line, row (Ref. 45335);  fasciolatus: The species name "fasciolatus" is derived from the Latin word "fascia", meaning "band, bandage, girdle, zone, strip, stripe" with "fasciola" as a diminutive and most probably refers to the well-marked transverse bars on the flanks (Ref. 96324).   More on author: Boulenger.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; pelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: ? - 25.   Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 13371)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: widespread in Congo River basin, from Marine Lower Congo up to Upper Lualaba (Ref. 96324), but absent from Luapula-Moero (Ref. 2970, 96324). Reports from Lake Tanganyika (Ref. 4967, 6770, 36901) are questionable and probably incorrect (Ref. 96324).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7094); max. published weight: 3.0 kg (Ref. 7094)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 24-26; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 12 - 16. Diagnosis: Within the Congo River basin, Distichodus fasciolatus can be distinguished from D. affinis, D. altus, D. decemmaculatus, D. noboli, D. notospilus and D. teugelsi by its higher total number of lateral lina scales, 61-70 vs. less than 46 in the six other species, and from D. maculatus by the absence of large, dark spots all over the body, instead of 13-20 vertical dark bars, and a higher number of dorsal fin rays, 24-26, vs. 19-21 (Ref. 96324). It can be distinguished from D. antonii by its inferior mouth, vs. terminal, and its higher number of scales between the lateral line and the dorsal fin, 13-16 vs. 10-12; from D. lusosso by its inferior mouth, vs. terminal, its feebly compressed snout, vs. distinctively prolonged, and its higher number of dark vertical bars along the body, at least in specimens larger than 150 mm standard length, 13-20 vs. 6-8; from D. sexfasciatus by its higher number of teeth on the outer row of both jaws, 20-30 vs. 12-18, its higher number of dark vertical bars on the flanks, at least in specimens larger than 150 mm standard length, 13-20 vs. 6-8, and its brownish-yellowish colouration vs. orange-reddish to red (Ref. 96324). Moreover, Distichodus fasciolatus can be differentiated from both the D. atroventralis complex and D. langi by its lower number of pelvic fin rays, 10, exceptionally 11, vs. 11, exceptionally 10 for the D. atroventralis complex and always 11 for D. langi; from the D. atroventralis complex by its higher number of dark vertical bars, at least in specimens larger than 150 mm standard length, 13-20 vs. 6-9, and presence of pale pelvic fins, at least in specimens larger than 200 mm standard length, vs. blackish; and from D. langi by a combination of characteristics: 24-26 total dorsal fin rays, vs. 26-28, and a lower head depth, 35.9-62.9% of head length for specimens of comparable size, vs. 67.4-69.4% of head length (Ref. 96324).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Distichodus fasciolatus is a bottom-dweller in streams, found near the muddy bottom in lakes, large rivers and their dead-ending branches (Ref. 96324). This species is mainly herbivorous, though insects and nematodes were also found in the stomachs (Ref. 96324). The fry are born near the river banks just before the April or December floods and feed on zooplankton and insect larvae in the flooded zones; adults mainly feed on insect larvae, aquatic plants, leaves and seeds (Ref. 96324).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Moelants, T., V. Mbadu Zebe, J. Snoeks and E. Vreven, 2014. A review of the Distichodus antonii assemblage (Characiformes: Distichodontidae) from the Congo basin. J. Nat. Hist. 48(27-28):1707-1735. (Ref. 96324)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest
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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01259 (0.00551 - 0.02875), b=3.01 (2.81 - 3.21), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .