Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Clupeiformes
(Herrings) > Clupeidae
(Herrings, shads, sardines, menhadens) > Dorosomatinae
Etymology: Microthrissa: Grek, mikros = small + Greek, thrissa, -es = shad (Ref. 45335); whiteheadi: Named in honor of Dr. P.J.P. Whitehead of the British Museum (Natural History), London, whose numerous publications on clupeoid fishes have contributed substantially to our knowledge of this group (Ref. 46514).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; pelagic. Tropical; 10°N - 10°S
Africa: Middle and Upper Congo River system in Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ref. 46514, 47399).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 5.7 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 46514)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 20 - 25;
Vertebrae: 39 - 40. Diagnosis: Body moderately deep, its depth about 28-37% of standard length; scutes keeled, 1 or 2 before base of first pectoral fin ray, 13-16 pre-pelvic and 5-9 post-pelvic scutes; snout rounded; lower jaw not or slightly projecting, with small teeth limited to anterior part; pre-maxilla lacking a medial notch and with 32-40 small conical teeth directed inwards; maxilla blade slender, more than 5 times as long as deep, lower edge bordered with minute conical teeth; posterior supra-maxilla about as long as maxilla blade, its shaft as long as its blade; lower gillrakers 14-18 (Ref. 46514, 47399). Also characterized by 35-39 scales in a longitudinal series and anal fin with 20-25 rays (Ref. 46514, 47399). Closely related to Microthrissa royauxi and distinguished from this species by the shape of the pre-maxillary, the medial notch as found in M. royauxi is absent in M. whiteheadi, and the latter also has 32-40 pre-maxilla teeth vs. 16-26 in M. royauxi (Ref. 46514). It is distinguished from Microthrissa minuta by a higher number of teeth on the pre-maxilla, 32-40 vs. 12-30 in M. minuta; and additionally by a lower number of lower gillrakers, 14-18 vs. 18-22, a higher number of anal fin rays, 20-25 vs. 18-21, and a higher number of pre-pelvic scutes, 13-16 vs. 11-12 (Ref. 46514, 47399).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Gourène, G. and G.G. Teugels, 1989. Révision systématique du genre Microthrissa Boulenger, 1902 des eaux douces africaines (Pisces, Clupeidae). Rev. Hydrobiol. Trop. 22(2):129-156. (Ref. 47399)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5312 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00433 - 0.01920), b=3.04 (2.87 - 3.21), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.1 ±0.3 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (10 of 100) .