Engraulicypris bredoi (Poll 1945)
Status: Accepted name

Common names:

Taxonomic tree
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish)
Order: Cypriniformes (Carps)
Family: Danionidae (Danios)
Genus: Engraulicypris
Species: Engraulicypris bredoi (Poll 1945)
Number of Occurrancies: 13

Etymology(based on Sharpf & Lazara 2019)

  • Engraulicypris: engraulis, anchovy, referring to anchovy-like shape and coloration (and presumably its shoaling and zooplanktivory as well); cypris, a small carp, a common suffix for cyprinoid genera

  • bredoi:  in honor of Belgian explorer Hans J. Brédo (1903-1991), who collected type

Synonyms: click here to view synonym

Type locality: Lake Albert, Kasenyi. Holotype at Musée royal de l'Afrique centrale (MRAC)  

Distinguishing characters for the genus

  • lateral line situated below the middle of flank and caudal peduncal, and a cheek below the eye covered by thin sub-orbital bones (vs. Labeo, Labeobarbus, Garra,  and Enteromius: lateral line runs along middle of the flank and the caudal peduncle; no sub-orbital bones on the cheek).

  • Almost the entire dorsal fin situated above the anal fin (vs. Leptocypris: greater part of the dorsal fin is situated in advance of the anal fin) 

Distinguishing characters for species

  • 10 or 11 gill rakers on the lower part of the first arch (distinction from Rastrineobola argentea with 16 gill rakers)

  • Lateral line with 36-39 complete scales (distinction from R. argentea with 48-52 scales)

  • Dorsal fin with II-III, 7 or 8 rays, its origin above of the anal which has II-III, 11-13 branched rays (distinction from R. argentea with 14-17 anal fin rays)

  • Depth of body contained 4-5 times in standard length, length of the head 3.75-4.25 times

  • Snout pointed, somewhat shorter than the eye which is contained 3.5-4 times in head length

  • A large terminal mouth, extending to below the anterior border of the eye 

  • Colour is intensely silver, surface of head darker. A dark mid-lateral stripe appears after death.

Taxonomic remarks: This species resembles R. argentea, but differs on the number of lateral line scales, gill rakers on the first arch, and fewer anal fin rays. 

Distribution in Uganda: Endemic to Lake ALbert

Occurence: Endemic

Habitat: Benthopelagic; common in surface zone of inshore waters 

Feeding: Unknown

Biology: No available information


Economic importance/End use: The species is of great commercial value around Lake Albert. Available data shows that by 2012, about 78,000 tonnes of the species were harvested per year worth $11.4 million (Mbabazi et al., 2012). The species is used both for human consumption and in animal feeds. 

IUCN conservation status: Not Evaluated

Threats: Overfishing due to the increasing demand from animal feed industry

Main references

  • Greenwood PH. 1966. The fishes of Uganda. The Uganda Society, Kampala. 131 pages.

  • Sharpf C, Lazara J.K. 2019. Fish Name Etymology Database v4. www.etyfish.org

  • Mbabazi D, Taabu-Munyaho M, Muhoozi L.I, Nakiyende H, Bassa S, Muhumuza E, Amiina R, Balirwa J. 2012. The past, present and projected scenarios in the Lake Albert and Albert Nile fisheries: Implications for sustainable management. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 13 (2): 47-64.

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Natugonza, V. & Musinguzi, L. (editors) 2021. Freshwater Biodiversity Portal for Uganda. www.freshwaterbiodiversity.go.ug, version (01/2021).


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