A review of the genus Hydrocynus CuvidSf 1 1 (Teleostei: Characiformes) Bernice Brewster Department of Zoology, British Museum (Natural History), Cromwell Contents Introduction .... Note on nomenclature Materials .... Abbreviations used in figures . Osteology of the genus Hydrocynus Character analysis . Interrelationships of Hydrocynus Revision of Hydrocynus species Key to species . Concluding remarks Acknowledgements . References Appendix 1 163 164 165 165 166 184 189 193 201 202 203 203 205 Introduction The genus Hydrocynus is a member of the Characidae (Order Characiformes) one of the largest families of freshwater fishes found in both Africa and the Neotropics. Hydrocynus is, however, endemic to Africa, (see p. 201 for details of distribution). As noted by Weitzman & Fink (1983: 340), the current classification of the characids is problematical. Roberts (1969: 443) divided the African Characidae into the sub-families Hydrocyninae, (to include only Hydrocynus) and Alestiinae (to include all remaining African characids). Gery (1977: 18) subsequently erected the family Alestidae to include Roberts' s sub-families Hydrocyninae and Alestiinae and restricted the Characidae to include only Neotropical taxa. Gery's (1977) work was not based on a cladistic analysis of the Characidae (sensu Greenwood et al. 1966) and the characters he used to define the Alestidae appear to be a mixture of plesiomorphies and apomorphies. Vari (1979: 342) included Roberts's Hydrocyninae with the Alestiinae because the latter represented a non-monophyletic assemblage with some of its members being more closely related to Hydrocynus than to members of their own sub-family. The current classification of the characids is clearly unsatisfactory but pending further phylogenetic analysis the concept of the Characidae sensu Greenwood et al. (1966) is followed here. Species of Hydrocynus are pike-like predators, commonly termed 'tigerfishes' for their prominent dentition and dark lateral stripes. The genus was first described by Cuvier (1819) and characterized by him as follows: . . . par des dents peu nombreuses, longues, coniques, tres-aigues tranchantes par les bords, qui se croisent quant la bouche estfermee, et qui ne sontpas recouvertes par les levres. J'en trouve 7 a chaque intermaxillaire , ce qui fait en tout 14 pour la machoire superieure, mais les trois dernier es de chaque cote sont beaucoup plus petites que les autres; il n'y ena que 6 de chaque cote a la machoire inferieure, et ce sont les deux dernieres qui sont petites. On compte done 8 grandes dents a chaque machoire. La gueule n 'est pas tres f endue, et le maxillaire qui n 'a pas de dents se recourbe transversalement sur la commissure. La langue et lepalais sont lisses, et les os pharyngiens garnis de dents en velours. Bull. Br. Mus. Nat. Hist. (Zool.) 50 (3): 163-206 Issued 31 July 1986 163



A review of the genus Hydrocynus Cuvier 1819 (Teleostei: Characiformes)

Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 50(3): 163-206 (1986)

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