Teleostei (teleosts) > Characiformes
(Characins) > Alestidae
Etymology: Brycinus: Greek, ebrykon, brykomai = to bite, to gnaw (Ref. 45335); nurse: rüppellii.
More on author: Rüppell.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; pelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 7.8; dH range: ? - 30; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 2060)
Africa: widely distributed in West Africa (Ref. 2880, 81279). In Lower Guinea present in Cross and Mémé rivers (Ref. 80279). Also in Chad basin (Ref. 367, 81279) and Nile River (Ref. 28714, 31439, 58460) up to Lake Albert (Ref. 4903, 42019).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm 8.9, range 22 - ? cm
Max length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3799); max. published weight: 200.00 g (Ref. 3799)
soft rays: 13 - 18. Diagnosis: multicuspid teeth set in two rows and not overlapping the jaws when the mouth is closed; teeth stout, not compressed; eyes with well-developed vertical adipose lids; slender body; head not flattened (Ref. 28714). Dorsal fin origin at about same level as pelvic fin insertion (Ref. 2880, 80290, 81279), about halfway between caudal fin and snout (Ref. 28714). Fronto-parietal fontanel absent in adults, sometimes pore-like in juveniles, disappearing with growth; sexual dimorphism affecting anal fin shape; 24-34 lateral line scales; 5.5 scales between lateral line and dorsal fin; 10-15 anal fin branched rays; 14-20 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; 8 teeth in outer premaxillary row (Ref. 2880, 80290, 81279). Snout short, more than 3x head length; head length/snout length 3.6-4.3; 10-11.5 predorsal scales; flanks without lateral band; adults medium-sized (Ref. 80290).
Inhabits rivers, lakes, irrigation canals and fringing vegetation; feeds on zooplankton, Caridina, insects, snails and vegetation (Ref. 28714). Dwarf populations are described in lake basins: Lake Turkana, B. n. nana Pellegrin, 1935 and Lake Chad, B. n. dageti Blache and Miton, 1960 (see Ref. 2880).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Paugy, D. and S.A. Schaefer, 2007. Alestidae. p. 347-411. In M.L.J. Stiassny, G.G. Teugels and C.D. Hopkins (eds.) Poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres de basse Guinée, ouest de l'Afrique centrale/The fresh and brackish water fishes of Lower Guinea, west-central Africa. Vol. 1. Coll. Faune et Flore tropicales 42. Istitut de recherche pour le développement, Paris, France, Muséum nationale d'histoire naturelle, Paris, France and Musée royale de l'Afrique centrale, Tervuren, Belgique. 800 p. (Ref. 80290)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
for Brycinus nurse' title='Aquaculture profile
for Brycinus nurse' target='_blank'>Aquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01202 (0.00929 - 0.01556), b=2.98 (2.93 - 3.03), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.5 ±0.2 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.41-0.92; tm=1; Fec < 1,000).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 147 [53, 366] mg/100g ; Iron = 2.12 [1.01, 4.98] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.7 [16.7, 21.0] % ; Omega3 = 0.503 [0.186, 1.390] g/100g ; Selenium = 45 [19, 123] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 42.5 [14.9, 114.6] μg/100g ; Zinc = 2.38 [1.62, 3.53] mg/100g (wet weight);