Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfishes) > 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: Lönnberg.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 23°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468); 9°N - 11°S
Africa: from the Volta basin in Ghana (Ref. 57129) and coastal rivers in Togo to the lower and middle Congo River basin (Ref. 248). Also reported from the upper Congo (Ref. 106245). Widespread in Lower Guinea, from the Cross in Nigeria and Cameroon to the Loémé in Republic of Congo (Ref. 81644).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 46.6 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 57129)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 52 - 70;
Vertebrae: 56 - 61. Diagnosis: body less elongate, its maximum depth 11.9-16.4% SL (m=14.1); head length 21.0-26.0% SL (m=24.1) (Ref. 57129, 81644). Head rectangular dorsally; snout extremely broadly rounded; eyes more laterally placed (Ref. 248). Interorbital distance 45.4-54.3% HL (m=48.8) (Ref. 57129, 81644). Tooth plates extremely broad (Ref. 248), width of premaxillary tooth plate 30.4-38.9% HL (m=34.9), and of vomerine tooth plate 26.1-33.9% HL (m=29.7)(Ref. 57129, 81644). Frontal fontanel long and narrow; occipital fontanelle long and oval-shaped (Ref. 248). Supraorbital and "dermosphenotic" bones separated in specimens up to 200 mm SL, in larger specimens they usually become joined (Ref. 248, 101841)). 7-13 (Ref. 57129, 81644) or 7-14 (Ref. 101841) gill rakers on first gill arch. Suprabranchial organ well developed (Ref. 248, 101841). Pectoral spine slender, its outer side showing strong downward serrations (Ref. 248, 81644). Dorsal fin length 59.5-67.9% SL; distance from dorsal to caudal fin 1.2-4.3% SL (Ref. 57129, 101841). Flank neuromasts arranged in a regular pattern (Ref. 81644).
Colouration: no information on colour in life (Ref. 57129, 101841). Preserved specimens: dark brown on back and sides and pale brown to beige/whitish on belly; pectoral and pelvic fins sometimes with a pale distal band; caudal fin sometimes with alternating light and dark vertical bars (Ref. 57129, 81644). Never an irregular pattern of small white spots on body (Ref. 101841).
Data on the diet of C. walkeri (=C. camerunensis) showed larvae of mayflies, chironomids, and caddis insects to be the main food of small and middle-sized specimens (Ref. 248). Stomach content analysis showed presence of practically everything edible from plant remains, insects and their larvae to fish remains (Ref. 78218).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00776 (0.00341 - 0.01765), b=2.97 (2.79 - 3.15), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.51 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (33 of 100) .