Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Clariidae
Etymology: Heterobranchus: Greek, heteros = other + Greek, brangchia = gill (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468); 35°N - 4°N
Africa: Nile (Ref. 3820), Senegal, Gambia, Volta,
Niger, Benue rivers and Lake Chad (Ref. 57129).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3820); max. published weight: 30.0 kg (Ref. 3799)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 49 - 58;
Vertebrae: 62 - 63. Diagnosis: length of rayed dorsal fin 37-42% standard length; 40-46 dorsal-fin rays; length of adipose fin 22-27% standard length (Ref. 57129). No serrations on the anterior part of the pectoral spine (Ref. 270, 57129). Head oval-shaped to rectangular dorsally; snout broadly rounded; eyes rather laterally placed; frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle relatively long and oval shaped; 'postorbital' bones completely united; suprabranchial organ well developed; pectoral spine smooth; openings of secondary sensory canals with regular geometric pattern (Ref. 270).
Coloration: preserved specimens: greyish-brown on back and sides, pale brown on belly; some specimens show a marbled colouration, particularly on posterior part of body; caudal fin often with one or more vertical cross-bars (Ref. 57129). Body and fins occasionally with irregularly placed spots (Ref. 270).
Hardly anything is known about the biology of this species (Ref. 78218). Maximum reported size for West Africa: 800 mm TL (Ref. 57129).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Teugels, G.G., B. Denayer and M. Legendre, 1990. A systematic revision of the African catfish genus Heterobranchus Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (Pisces: Clariidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 98:237-257. (Ref. 270)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00741 (0.00328 - 0.01678), b=2.99 (2.80 - 3.18), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (72 of 100) .