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Alestes is a genus in the family Alestidae, known as the "African Characidae" as they are found exclusively on that continent. As suggested by that name, they Alestidae was formerly included in Characidae. Myletes is a synonym of Alestes, but the former name has historically also been used for various South American serrasalmines.

Within the Lake Chad basin, Alestes and Hydrocynus, collectively known as salanga, are lightly smoked and dried.