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: Boulenger.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468); 2°N - 12°S
Africa: Lake Victoria, Edward, George, small lakes of Uganda, Lake Kivu, smaller lakes of Rwanda, Lake Tanganyika, in Malawi, Kagera, Malagarazi and Ruzizi Rivers (Ref. 248). Also in Lake Rukwa (Ref. 27292) and in Luapula and Lualaba River drainages (Congo River basin) (Ref. 248). Present in Cunene, Okavango, upper Zambezi, and Kafue systems (Ref. 7248).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3820)
soft rays: 53 - 67;
Vertebrae: 55 - 58. Pectoral fin spine with serrations on the inner and upward directed on the outer side (Ref. 34290). Head oval to rectangular dorsally; snout broadly rounded; eyes more laterally located. Frontal fontanelle intermediate between `knife-shaped' and `sole-shaped'; occipital fontanelle long and oval-shaped. Supraorbital and `dermosphenotic' bones generally joined above 150 mm SL and more dorsally placed. Tooth plates relatively broad. Pectoral spine relatively short; its outer side strongly serrated over entire length. Gill rakers short and far apart. Openings of secondary sensory canals regularly arranged on flanks.
Occurs in marginal water-lily and papyrus swamps as well as in marginal weed beds; abundant in high mountain streams and torrents and on the bottom among stones; not found in any situation lower than about 915 m above sea level nor in water of a higher temperature than 18 °C (Ref. 248). In the Rukwa and Malawi drainage they are sometimes found in very cold upland streams (Ref. 78218). These fishes are omnivores, feeding on insect larvae and sometimes also fishes (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. 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
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00813 (0.00362 - 0.01823), b=2.99 (2.81 - 3.17), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.45 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 (26 of 100) .