Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Very common in inundated areas. Bury themselves in the mud when the pools are drying up. Feed mainly on fish and mollusks; also crustaceans, diatoms, detritus and bottom organisms (Ref. 248). Omnivorous and reproduction takes place in the rainy saison (Ref. 78218).
  • 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)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is widely distributed from Mauritania to Ethiopia, and the length of the Nile.

Northern Africa: Present but rare in Lower and This species is known from upper Egyptian Nile, and Lake Nasser (also known as Lake Nubia). It has also been recorded in Mauritania.

Northeast Africa: This species is found in Bahr el Ghazal, White Nile, and the Nile to Lake Nasser, Sudan. It is also present in the Baro River and Rift lakes, Ethiopia.

Western Africa: It is found in Chad system including the Logone and the Shari rivers, and Gambia and lower Senegal rivers and Volta system. Also present in the Niger and Benoue river systems, coastal rivers of Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.
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Africa: lower and middle Nile; Chad system including the Logone and the Shari rivers; Niger and Benoue river systems; coastal rivers of Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia and lower Senegal rivers; Volta system; relict populations occur in Mauritania and southern Algeria. Trade restricted in FRG.
  • 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)
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Widespread in northern Africa.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 60 - 82; Analsoft rays: 42 - 61
  • 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)
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Size

Maximum size: 1000 mm TL
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Max. size

100.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3799)); max. published weight: 7,000 g (Ref. 3799)
  • Ita, E.O. 1984 Kainji (Nigeria). p. 43-103. In J.M. Kapetsky and T. Petr (eds.) Status of African reservoir fisheries. CIFA Tech. Pap. 10:326 p. (Ref. 3799)
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Diagnostic Description

The head is oval-shaped to rectangular in dorsal outline; the snout is broadly rounded (Ref. 248). The eyes have a rather lateral position and together with the relatively broad head, make for a relatively large interorbital distance (Ref. 248). The number of gill rakers on the first branchial arch is subject to much variation, between 16 and 40; it rarely exceeds 40 (Ref. 248). The dorsal fin base is situated close to the occipital process; the dorsal fin always terminates before the caudal fin base and the distance between both is small (Ref. 248). The anal fin originates closer to the caudal fin base than to the tip of the snout; although nearly reaching the caudal fin, it is never confluent with it (Ref. 248). The pelvic fin base is slightly closer to the tip of the snout than to the caudal fin base; it reaches the base of the first anal fin rays (Ref. 248). The pectoral fin extand from the operculum to the base of the first dorsal fin rays; the pectoral spine is slightly curved and robust, being serrated only on its outer side; the number of serrations increases with increasing standard length (Ref. 248). The lateral line appears as a small, white line running from the posterior end of the head to the middle of the caudal fin base; the openings of the secondary sensory canals are clearly marked, showing a regular pattern (Ref. 248). Two colour patterns can be discerned: the uniform and the marbled pattern (Ref. 248). In the uniform pattern, the specimens are uniform dark-brown, blackish brown or reddish brown on their dorsal side and on the flanks as well as on the upper surface of the paired fins; the belly and the lower surface of the paired fins are light brownish to beige (Ref. 248). In the marbled pattern, the back and the flanks show irregular dark blotches on a light coloured background; the belly and the ventral parts of the paired fins are whitish (Ref. 248). Most specimens have pigmentation bands on both sides of the lower surface of the head (Ref. 248). A series of light and dark bands may occur on the caudal fin; the proximal third of the fin is lightly coloured, while the rest is darkly coloured; occasionally, irregular black spots may occur on the caudal fin and on the caudal peduncle (Ref. 248).
  • 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)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Clarias anguillaris is a demersal, potamodromous species. It is very common in inundated areas. It lives mainly in deep waters, in the muddy or semi-muddy bottom, and bury themselves in the mud when the pools are drying up. Clarias anguillaris feeds mainly on fish and molluscs, but also crustaceans, diatoms, detritus and bottom organisms (Teugels 1986). The reproduction of some claridae according to Albaret (1982) is generally limited to the period of rising.

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; depth range 1 - ? m (Ref. 248)
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
  • 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)
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Feeds on detritus, fish, benthic organisms and plants (Ref. 6186).
  • 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)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Breeding season varies among localities, apparently timed to 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)
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Azeroual, A., Bousso, T., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P. & Moelants, T.

Reviewer/s
Snoeks, J., Tweddle, D., Getahun, A., Lalèyè, P., Paugy, D., Zaiss, R., Fishar, M.R.A & Brooks, E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a wide distribution, with no known major widespread threats. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. It has also been assessed regionally as Least Concern for western Africa. Due to limited information on this species distribution, abundance and threats, it has been assessed as Data Deficient for north and northeast Africa regions.
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Population

Population
No information available.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is threatened by commercial overfishing. In northern Africa, dams, water pollution (agriculture, domestic and commercial/industrial), groundwater extraction and drought pose possible threats.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Limited information available. More research is needed into this species population numbers and range, biology and ecology, habitat status and threats, as well as monitoring and potential conservation measures.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 1992 FAO yearbook 1990. Fishery statistics. Catches and landings. FAO Fish. Ser. (38). FAO Stat. Ser. 70:(105):647 p. (Ref. 4931)
  • FAO 1997 Aquaculture production statistics 1986-1995. FAO Fish. Circ. 815, Rev. 9. 195 p. (Ref. 26920)
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Wikipedia

Clarias anguillaris

Clarias anguillaris is a species of African airbreathing catfish also known as the Mudfish. This species is of minor importance in commercial fisheries. It grows to a length of 100 cm (39.4 inches) TL.


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