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.
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical, preferred ?; 8°N - 3°N
Africa: C. laeviceps laeviceps: river St. John in Liberia to the Volta in Ghana; also found in the upper Niger in Guinea (Ref. 57129). Possibly also in the St. Paul River (Ref. 248, 13331). C. laeviceps dialonensis: rivers coming out of the Fouta Djalon (Konkouré, Kolenté), the upper Senegal River in Guinea and coastal basins in Sierra Leone; endemic to that region (Ref. 57129).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 31.7 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57129)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 60 - 75;
Vertebrae: 65 - 69. Diagnosis: body very elongate, its depth 9.1-13.6% SL (m = 12.0)(Ref. 57129). Head short and broad (Ref. 248, 571429), oval-shaped dorsally (Ref. 248), its length 17.8-22.7% SL (m=21.1), its width 13.4-17.0% SL (m=16.0)(Ref. 57129). Snout broadly rounded; eyes more laterally placed (Ref. 248). Interorbital distance large, 44.7-54.8% HL (m = 49.5)(Ref. 57129). Tooth plates broad (Ref. 248, 57129), width of premaxillary plate 31.8-41.3% HL, width of vomerine plate 25.6-35.0% HL (Ref. 57129). Frontal fontanelle intermediate between "knife-shaped" and "sole-shaped"; occipital fontanelle rather long and oval shaped; supraorbital and "dermosphenotic" bones become joined in specimens between 80 and 100 mm TL (Ref. 248). Dorsal and anal fins very long (63.2-72.0% and 49.7-57.6% SL respectively) (Ref. 57129). Gill rakers small, slender and distantly set; suprabranchial organ partially fills chamber; pectoral spine rather thin and slightly curved (Ref. 248).
Coloration: no information on colour in life (Ref. 57129). Preserved specimens: 2 types of colouration: one uniform, with back and sides blackish-brown and belly beige; and a marbled pattern with light spots against a dark background on back and sides, and pale brown on belly (Ref. 57129). Caudal fin with dark vertical bar occupying 2/3 of its base, dividing it in a dark anterior and a light posterior part (Ref. 57129).
Nothing is known regarding the biology of this species (Ref. 78218). Max. reported size of C. laeviceps laeviceps and C. laeviceps dialonensis is 317mm TL and 257mm TL respectively (Ref. 57129)
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
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
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
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
): 3.4 ±0.5 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .