Congothrissa gossei Poll, 1964
Smoothbelly pellonuline
photo by FAO

Family:  Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens), subfamily: Dorosomatinae
Max. size:  3.5 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic,
Distribution:  Africa: central part of Congo River system, around Kisangani in Democratic Republic of Congo and also Ubangui River at Bangui and upstream in Central African Republic (Ref. 188, 93833).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14-16; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 15-17. Diagnosis: Small, fairly slender fishes, depth around 22-24% of standard length (Ref. 188). Belly rounded, smooth, no trace of scutes before or behind pelvic fins; pelvic scute itself present, however, the tips of its lateral arms bifurcated (Ref. 188). Jaws about equal, with fine teeth; no second supra-maxilla; lower gillrakers 10 to 12 (Ref. 188). Congothrissa gossei occurs with other clupeid species, but the smoothly rounded belly, absence of spiny post-pelvic scutes and lack of a second supra-maxilla makes it unmistakable (Ref. 188). Description: Jaws about equal; lower jaw not prominent, even a bit shorter but never longer than upper jaw (Ref. 188, 105003). Dorsal fin with 14-16 rays of which 3 unbranched rays; anal fin with 15-17 rays of which 2 unbranched rays; pectoral fin with 1 unbranched and 10-11 branched rays; pelvic fin insertion just behind dorsal fin origin, with 1 unbranched and 6-7 branched fin rays; caudal fin with 19 rays (Ref. 188, 105003). Scales large; about 20-22 scales in lateral series; 5-6 scales in transverse series (Ref. 188, 105003). Colouration: body pale yellow, probably silvery coloured for life specimens (Ref. 105003). In preserved specimens: a trail of chromatophores is present in the middle of the flanks, especially on caudal peduncle; also dorsal side of head with fine chromatophores (Ref. 105003).
Biology:  A riverine species apparently found in the main stream of the Congo River (Ref. 188). It feeds on small shrimps, mosquito larvae and chironomid larvae (Ref. 188).
IUCN Red List Status: Data deficient (DD); Date assessed: 22 June 2017 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Boden, Gert - 16.05.18
Checked by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 23.07.94

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