Drepane africana Osório, 1892
African sicklefish
photo by FAO

Family:  Drepaneidae (Sicklefishes)
Max. size:  45 cm TL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 750.0 g
Environment:  benthopelagic; brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 75 m,
Distribution:  Eastern Atlantic: West African coast, from Senegal to Angola (Ref. 7350, 81287). Also reported from the Canary Islands, Cape Verde (Ref. 7350) and Mauritania (Ref. 5377).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 8-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-18; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 20-21. Diagnosis: body deep and strongly compressed, its anterior profile very steep up to dorsal-fin origin, and strongly compressed; head small; snout short; mouth small, terminal, strongly protrusible, with fleshy lips; teeth slender and pointed, set in bands in upper jaw; roof of mouth toothless; dorsal fin deeply notched; 1st dorsal fin spine small, forward-pointing and visible only in young individuals; pectorals falcate, very long, their tips almost reaching to caudal-fin base; hind margin of caudal fin slightly rounded; pelvic fins thoracic; scales finely ctenoid, covering body, bases of dorsal and anal fins and head, except snout and preopercle; preopercular margin denticulate; lateral line strongly arched (Ref. 81287). Coloration: silvery grey, darker on back, almost white on belly; sides with a series of 8 brown, more or less faded vertical bars, always more distinct in young individuals (Ref. 81287).
Biology:  Neritic species (Ref. 7350). Essentially marine, often living in groups (Ref. 81287) over sandy and muddy bottoms (Ref. 2683), between 20 and 50 m depth, and entering coastal lagoons where sexual maturation begins (Ref. 81287). Feeds of fish eggs, benthic invertebrates and detritus (Ref. 28587).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 23 May 2012 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Musschoot, Tobias - 27.03.15
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 24.08.94

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