Hippopotamyrus ansorgii

Hippopotamyrus ansorgii (Boulenger, 1905)

Original Published Description:

Boulenger, G. A. (1905).  Descriptions of four new freshwater fishes discovered by Dr. W. J. Ansorge in Angola. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 7). 15, 457–459.
Languages: English


General Description

From Boulenger 1909, pp. 73-74.

Depth of body equal to length of head, 4 1/2 to 5 times in total length. Head once and 1/5 as long as deep; snout rounded, 1/4 length of head; mouth small, terminal, but situated below level of eye; a feeble mental swelling; teeth notched, 7 in upper jaw, 8 in lower; anterior nostril on a level with centre of eye, posterior lower down and separated from eye by a space equal to its distance from the anterior; eye a little shorter than snout. Dorsal 19, originating above 5th or 6th ray of anal, its length about 2 1/2 times in its distance from head. Anal 24-26, equally distant from base of ventral and from base of caudal, or a little nearer latter. Pectoral obtusely pointed, 2/3 length of head, once and 2/3 as long as ventral, not quite reaching base of latter. Caudal with rounded lobes. Caudal peduncle 2 1/2 to 3 times as long as deep, 2/3 to 4/5 length of head. 67-72 scales in lateral line,13-14 / 17-18 in transverse series on body, 11/10 between dorsal and anal, 16 round caudal peduncle. Brownish; a blackish vertical bar between origin of dorsal and anal.

Total length 110 millim. Angola.

Author(s): Boulenger, G.A.
Rights holder(s): Boulenger, G.A.


Look Alikes

H. ansorgii belongs to a species complex distributed in the rivers of Angola and the Upper Zambezi (see Kramer et al. 2004, Kramer & Swartz, 2010).  Members of this group resemble certain species of the genus of Paramormyrops which are found in the drainages of Lower Guinea and the Congo basin, but molecular evidence suggests they are not close relatives (Lavoué, pers comm.)  All members of the Hippopotamyrus ansorgii complex exhibit a diffuse dark band between the anterior part of the dorsal and anal fins that is not present in species of Paramormyrops.

Author(s): Sullivan, John P.
Rights holder(s): Sullivan, John P.

Ecology and Distribution


Inexact type locality for this species is given as "between Benguela and Bihé, Angola" probably referring to the Angolan highlands in the current provinces of Benguela, Huambo and Bié (Kramer & Swartz, 2010). The mountains in this region give rise to several major river systems, including the Cuanza, Cuango, Cuvo, Cunene as well as the Zambesi. See Fishbase for museum records and localities.

Author(s): Sullivan, John P.
Rights holder(s): Sullivan, John P.


Boulenger, G. A. (1905).  Descriptions of four new freshwater fishes discovered by Dr. W. J. Ansorge in Angola. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 7). 15, 457–459.
Boulenger, G. A. (1909).  Catalogue of the Fresh-Water Fishes of Africa in the British Museum (Natural History). I, 373. London: British Museum (Natural History).
Harder, W. (2000).  The Mormyridae and other Osteoglossomorpha (CD-ROM). World Biodiversity Database, CD-ROM Series. 2000, New York: Springer Verlag, ETI-UNESCO.
Kramer, B., & Swartz E. (2010).  A new species of Slender Stonebasher within the Hippopotamyrus ansorgii complex from the Cunene River in southern Africa (Teleostei: Mormyriformes). Journal of Natural History. 44(35), 2213 - 2242.
Kramer, B., Van Der Bank H., & Wink M. (2004).  Hippopotamyrus ansorgii species complex in the Upper Zambezi River System with a description of a new species, H. szaboi (Mormyridae). Zoologica Scripta. 33(1), 1 - 18.
Lévêque, C., & Bigorne R. (1985).  Le genre Hippopotamyrus (Pisces, Mormyridae) en Afrique de l'Ouest, avec la description d'Hippopotamyrus paugyi n. sp.. Cybium. 9, 175-192.
FileSize (kb)Uploaded
Lévêque & Bigorne 1985.pdf486.22010-11-27T22:38:49Z
Journal of Natural History 2010 Kramer.pdf845.52011-02-22T21:02:19Z
Boulenger 1905b.pdf1751.92011-02-27T19:25:46Z
Kramer et al 2004.pdf652.92011-02-27T21:08:04Z