Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Synbranchiformes
(Spiny eels) > Mastacembelidae
Etymology: Mastacembelus: Greek, mastax, -agos = bite + Greek, emballo = to throw oneself (Ref. 45335); liberiensis: Name from the Latin 'latus' (broad, wide) and the Latin 'cauda' (tail) referring to the shape of the tail (Ref. 55095). More on author: Boulenger.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical
Africa: Gambia River basin in the west up to the Cess/Nipoué River basin in the east (Ref. 55095, 57415).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 36.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 55095)
Morphology | Morphometrics
(total): 28 - 35;
soft rays: 79 - 100;
Vertebrae: 92 - 105. Diagnosis: 92-105 total vertebrae (median 99)[Konkouré River basin: 100-104 (median 102)]; 27+1 up to 34+1 (median 31+1) dorsal spines [Konkouré River basin: 29+1 up to 32+1 (median 31+1)]; no reduction of the pre-opercular spines with increasing length (Ref. 57415). No (exceptionally) up to 1 preorbital spine (Ref. 57415). 1 (very exceptionally) to 5 pre-opercular spines (median 2) (Ref. 55095, 57415). Origin of 1st dorsal spine situated posterior to posterior edge of pectoral fin, 4.8-47.4% HL (m=24.8); distance from anterior border of snout to last externally visible dorsal spine 52.6-61.5% SL (m=57.2), comparable to distance from anterior border of snout to last externally visible anal spine, 53.1-61.9% SL (m=57.8), both decreasing with size; post-anal length 42.3-50.9% SL (m=45.9) and increasing with size, shorter than pre-anal length, 48.5-56.8% SL (m=52.6) and decreasing with size, becoming equal to latter with increasing size; 6-12 caudal fin rays; 7-11 predorsal vertebrae; 37-42 abdominal vertebrae; 0-(+2) in-between vertebrae; 53-64 caudal vertebrae (Ref. 57415).
Maximum TL observed was 383mm (Ref. 57415).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Vreven, E.J. and G.G. Teugels, 2005. Redescription of Mastacembelus liberiensis Boulenger, 1898 and description of a new West African spiny-eel (Synbranchiformes: Mastacembelidae) from the Konkoure River basin, Guinea. J. Fish Biol. 67:332-369. (Ref. 55095)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg 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=0.00302 (0.00140 - 0.00653), b=2.91 (2.73 - 3.09), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .