Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Clariidae
Etymology: Clarias: Greek, chlaros = lively, in reference to the ability of the fish to live for a long time out of water. More on author: Günther.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.0 - 7.5; dH range: ? - 25. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468), preferred ?; 5°N - 8°S
Africa: basins of the Ogooué, Noya, Kouilou and Chiloango (Ref. 81644), as well as in the lower and middle Congo River basin including Lake Tumba and Pool Malebo (Ref. 248). Also reported from the upper Congo (Ref. 106245).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 36.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3820)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 56 - 71;
Vertebrae: 55 - 60. Diagnosis: head length 24.4-27.7% SL (Ref. 101841). Head rather pointed in dorsal outline; snout slightly rounded; eyes located more dorsally (Ref. 248). Interorbital distance 41.1-45.4% HL (Ref. 101841). Tooth plates relatively small (Ref 248), width of premaxillary tooth plate 21.3-28.2% HL, and of vomerine tooth plate 18.6-25.9% HL (Ref. 101841). Nasal barbel 78.3-110% HL; outer mandibular barbel 58.0-142% HL (Ref. 101841). Frontal fontanelle short and squat (`sole-shaped'); occipital fontanelle small and oval-shaped; `dermosphenotic' and supraorbital bones become sutured in larger specimens (above 65 mm SL) (Ref. 248). Pectoral spine robust, slightly curved (Ref. 248) and strongly serrated on outside and inside (Ref. 101841). Number of gill rakers varies with SL; suprabranchial organ well developed, nearly filling the cavity; openings of the lateral branches of the lateral line irregularly placed (Ref. 248). Large part of bony surface of cleithrum exposed through the skin; posterior border of visible part sometimes forms almost straight line; cleithrum length 21.5-26.0% HL; dorsal fin length 65.7-75.0% SL; distance from dorsal to caudal fin 0.0-2.5% SL (Ref. 101841).
Colouration: brownish yellow in life; pigmentation may be uniform but is more often marbled, with many, small yellowish spots (Ref. 101841). Distal quarter of caudal fin is clearer than anterior portion (Ref. 248, 101841). Some specimens may show irregular pattern of small white spots on body (Ref. 101841).
Found in lakes, rivers and floodplains (during breeding season); stomach contents consisted of sand, plants, larvae of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Chironomidae, remains of insects and fish scales (Ref. 248, 78218).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Juvenile specimens were found in isolated pools in the forest which might indicate that reproduction takes place during the rainy season.
Teugels, G.G., 1986. A systematic revision of the African species of the genus Clarias (Pisces; Clariidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci. Zool., 247:199 p. (Ref. 248)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
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=0.00724 (0.00336 - 0.01560), b=2.99 (2.82 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.47 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .