Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Alestidae
Etymology: Brycinus: Greek, ebrykon, brykomai = to bite, to gnaw (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; pelagic; depth range 0 - 20 m (Ref. 34290). Tropical, preferred ?
Africa: Lake Victoria (and at least some affluent streams and rivers), Lake Nabugabo, Malawa River, Victoria Nile (Ref. 34290, 104654) and Middle Akagera drainage (Ref. 46152).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); common length : 23.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290)
soft rays: 18 - 19. Anal fin margin of females straight or very slightly concave; markedly convex in males (individual rays are stouter and coarser than those of females). Silver, bluish-grey to black-blue dorsally. Large black blotch on the caudal peduncle, with narrow extension on the caudal fin; round black spot behind the head. Dorsal fin grey, adipose dorsal fin orange. All fins grey in color; other specimens all yellowish (except for pectorals). Anal and pelvic fins of a faint orange tinge or grey with a faint yellowish sheen (Ref. 34290).
In Lake Victoria confined to shallow coastal areas (Ref. 34290, 104654), in water less than 20 m deep (Ref. 12526, 34290). Omnivore, feeding on aquatic plants, surface insects and small fishes, and sometimes on molluscs (Ref. 4903, 12526, 104654). Known to run up rivers and streams in Lake Victoria during rainy season (Ref. 4903). Apparently rare since introduction of Lates (Ref. 4967).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
van Oijen, M.J.P., 1995. Appendix I. Key to Lake Victoria fishes other than haplochromine cichlids. p. 209-300. In F. Witte and W.L.T. van Densen (eds.) Fish stocks and fisheries of Lake Victoria. A handbook for field observations. Samara Publishing Limited, Dyfed, Great Britain. (Ref. 34290)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01230 (0.00544 - 0.02785), b=3.00 (2.82 - 3.18), based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.4 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .