Pellonula leonensis Boulenger, 1916
Smalltoothed pellonula
photo by FAO

Family:  Clupeidae (Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens), subfamily: Dorosomatinae
Max. size:  9.3 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  pelagic-neritic, anadromous
Distribution:  Africa: Lagoons, lakes and lower and upper courses of West African rivers (Ref. 188, 2849, 81269), from Senegal River to Sanaga River (Ref. 2244). Also in lagoons and lower parts of coastal rivers from Cameroon to Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 2244, 81631), including a record in the LĂ©fini River (Ref. 88782).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 13-19; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 16-22. Diagnosis: Pellonula leonensis is characterised by having the first prepelvic scute being as large as the following ones lacking ascending arms, located behind the pectoral-fin bases; also characteristic are the inward-curving premaxillary teeth (Ref. 2244, 2849, 81269, 81631). It resembles Pellonula vorax, which has larger and straighter teeth, often pointing forward, and scutes before pectoral fin bases (Ref. 188). Absence of large canine teeth in upper jaw distinguishes it from Odaxothrissa and also Cynothrissa; Microthrissa species are deep-bodied and have much more slender maxilla (Ref. 188). Description: Body slender to moderately deep (Ref. 188, 2244). Lower jaw very slightly projecting, but not prominent; premaxillary teeth relatively fine, curved inward, only the tips usually apparent (Ref. 188, 81269, 81631). Dorsal fin with 13-19 rays, the first dorsal-fin ray slightly in front or behind the insertion of the pelvic fin; anal fin with 16-22 rays; pectoral fin with 11-16 rays; pelvic fin with 8 rays; length of pectoral fin about half of the pectoral-pelvic fin distance (Ref. 2244, 2849, 81269, 81631). Cycloid scales (Ref. 2244): 36-45 scales in longitudinal line; 8-15 prepelvic and 6-9 postpelvic mid-ventral scutes (Ref. 2244, 2849, 81269, 81631). Colouration: Ground colour in alcohol-preserved specimens variable from yellow-brown to yellow-gray; operculum, ventral region and flanks usually lighter (Ref. 2244, 2849, 81269, 81631). Silver stripe along flank (Ref. 188).
Biology:  Found chiefly in rivers and streams, but also in lakes, reservoirs and lagoons. Apparently able to enter brackish and seawater bodies. Adults form schools. Mainly nocturnal. They feed on terrestrial and aquatic insects, also on ostracods, entomostracans and fish larvae (Ref. 2245). Breed from September to July in Lake Volta.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 15 May 2014 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 02.05.16
Checked by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 23.07.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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