Movements and habitat utilization of nembwe, Serranochromis robustus (Günther, 1864), in the Upper Zambezi River

Published in: African Zoology
Volume 40, issue 2, 2005 , pages: 253–259
DOI: 10.1080/15627020.2005.11407324
Author(s): Eva B. ThorstadNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway, Clinton J. HayMinistry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia, Tor F. NæsjeNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway, Ben ChandaMinistry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Department of Research and Specialised Services, Zambia, Finn ØklandNorwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), Norway


Fifteen adult nembwe Serranochromis robustus (Günther, 1864) were tagged with radio transmitters in the Zambezi River, Namibia, from 4–15 November 2000 to record behaviour and outline the implications for fisheries management. The fish were tracked on average every 3.7 days until 18 May 2001. They stayed within relatively small home ranges, with a 95% probability of localization within an average area of 184 563m2. The fish utilized a mean river stretch of 1330 m (range = 24– 3787). Nembwe were recorded in a variety of habitats, and the individual variation in movements and habitat use was substantial. All the fish were recorded in the mainstream of the river, but 62% of the fish were recorded in one or more additional main habitat types. During rising and high water, 67% and 71% of the fish, respectively, were recorded in adjacent temporary flooded areas during some or all tracking surveys, but did not undertake long-distance migrations onto the floodplains. It is concluded that although staying within relatively small home ranges, nembwe appears as a species with a variable and flexible habitat utilization.

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