Distichodus engycephalus Günther, 1864
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Family:  Distichodontidae (Distichodus)
Max. size:  40 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 1,500.0 g
Environment:  demersal,
Distribution:  Africa: present from Senegal to Cameroon, in Lake Chad basin and Nile River (Ref. 81638). Reported in the Senegal (Ref. 7094, 86396), Niger, Volta, Ogun, Chad (Ref. 2936, 86396), Cross (Ref. 2936, 7094, 81638, 86396) and Wouri (Ref. 2936, 7094) River basins.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-28; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 13-17. Diagnosis: mouth inferior; body depth 2.6-3.4x and head length 4.0-5.4x SL; caudal peduncle length <= its depth; eye diameter 3.5 (juveniles)-5.7x head length; 11-12 scales between lateral line and scaly process at bases of pelvic fins; juveniles with numerous small, dark, eye-sized, spots on sides (Ref. 2936, 86396). No round humeral spot, no vertical bars (Ref. 81638). 73-86 (Ref. 81638) or 75-86 (Ref. 86396) lateral line scales. 14-16 (Ref. 81638) or 15.5-16.5 (Ref. 86396) scales between dorsal fin and lateral line. 20-28 (Ref. 81638) or 22-27 (Ref. 86396) total dorsal fin rays. 13-17 (Ref. 81638) or 13-16 (Ref. 86396) total anal fin rays. Description: round snout (Ref. 2936, 86396). Mouth with 2 rows of bicuspid teeth in each jaw; premaxilla with 8-9, dentary with 8-10 teeth in outer row, maxilla edentulous; ventral surface slightly convex to anal fin origin; caudal fin lobes pointed, scales covering somewhat more than ¾ of fin in smaller individuals and extending nearly to distal margin of fin in larger specimens; scales ctenoid and small; lateral line scales to slightly beyond hypural joint and followed by smaller, variably pored scales; D: III-IV,17-24 with first unbranched ray very short; A: III-IV,10-13; 10-12 scales between anal fin origin and lateral line (Ref. 81638). Pelvic fins inserted at level of 5th or 6th dorsal-fin ray and not reaching anal-fin origin (Ref. 2936, 86396). Coloration: body generally gray, darker on back lighter on belly (Ref. 2936, 86396). Preserved specimens brown; head and body darker dorsally; flanks with variably obvious, dark spots somewhat smaller than orbit; smaller specimens with horizontally elongate, dark spot on posterior portion of caudal peduncle and basal portions of middle caudal fin rays; fins dusky with variably developed, small, dark spots on dorsal fin; scaled portion of caudal fin typically darker than unscaled portion (Ref. 81638). Upper portion of eye reddish; juveniles with one orange spot followed by one black spot on lateral line at level of pectorals (Ref. 2936, 86396).
Biology:  Maximum TL was recorded at 50 cm; prefers flowing water over rocky bottoms (Ref. 7094). Feeds on vegetation and periphyton (Ref. 28714).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 20 October 2019 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:  Also Ref. 2367, 936.

Entered by: Cruz, Tess - 23.03.92
Modified by: Geelhand, Dimitri - 26.06.13
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 28.08.94

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