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Clarias gariepinus  (Burchell, 1822)

North African catfish
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Native range | All suitable habitat
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Clarias gariepinus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Clarias gariepinus (North African catfish)
Clarias gariepinus
Picture by Larsen, J.H.


Philippines country information

Common names: [No common name]
Occurrence: introduced
Salinity: freshwater
Abundance: | Ref:
Importance: | Ref:
Aquaculture: commercial | Ref:
Regulations: | Ref:
Uses: live export: yes;
Comments: Introduced from Taiwan in 1985 (Ref. 6096) and Thailand in 1985 (Ref. 13686). Introduced in Laguna de Bay (Ref. 80824). Recorded from Candaba Swamp and Pampanga River (Ref. 109918). Also Ref. 13446.
National Checklist:
Country Information: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html
National Fisheries Authority:
Occurrences: Occurrences Point map
Main Ref: Juliano, R.O., R.D. Guerrero III and I. Ronquillo, 1989
National Database:

Classification / Names

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Clariidae (Airbreathing catfishes)
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL

Main reference

Size / Weight / Age

Max length : 170 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 90.0 cm NG male/unsexed; (Ref. 34290); max. published weight: 60.0 kg (Ref. 4537); max. reported age: 15 years (Ref. 94815)

Length at first maturity
Lm 30.8, range 34 - ? cm

Environment

Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.5 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 28; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 80 m (Ref. 34291)

Climate / Range

Subtropical; 8°C - 35°C (Ref. 6465); 42°N - 28°S, 17°W - 51°E

Distribution

Africa: almost Pan-Africa, absent from Maghreb, the Upper and (most of the) Lower Guinea and the Cape province and probably also Nogal province. Asia: Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and southern Turkey. Widely introduced to other parts of Africa, Europe and Asia. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Introductions

Short description

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 61-80; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 45 - 65; Vertebrae: 56 - 63. Diagnosis: body depth 6-8 times in standard length, head 3-3,5 times (Ref. 34290). Head somewhat between rectangular and pointed in dorsal outline; snout broadly rounded; eyes supero-lateral and relatively small (Ref. 248). Teeth on premaxilla and lower jaw small, fine and arranged in several rows; nasal barbels 1/5-1/2 times as long as head in fishes longer than 12 cm, and 1/2-4/5 of head length in smaller individuals; maxillary barbels rarely shorter than head, usually somewhat longer and reaching to a point midway between origin of dorsal fin and insertion of pelvic fins; outer mandibular barbel longer than inner pair (Ref. 34290). Postorbital bones in contact; lower part of head with 2 black, lateral bands (Ref. 81644). Contrary to other Clarias species, Clarias gariepinus has a high number of gill rakers varying from 24-110 (Ref. 248, 34290, 81644, 101841), the number increasing with size of the fish; gill rakers long, slender and closely set (Ref. 248, 34290). Distance between occipital process and base of dorsal fin is short; dorsal fin almost reaches caudal fin; anal fin origin closer to caudal fin base than to snout, nearly reaching caudal fin; pelvic fin closer to snout than to caudal fin base; pectoral fin extends from operculum to below 1st dorsal fin rays (Ref. 248). Pectoral spine robust (Ref. 248), serrated only on its outer face (Ref. 248, 81644), the number of serrations increasing with age (Ref. 248). Lateral line appears as a small, white line from posterior end of head to middle of caudal fin base; openings to secondary sensory canals clearly marked (Ref. 248).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults occur mainly in quiet waters, lakes and pools (Ref. 248) and prefer rather shallow and swampy areas with a soft muddy substrate and calmer water (Ref. 78218). They may also occur in fast flowing rivers and in rapids (Ref. 248, 78218). The two known colour types appear to correlate with water turbidity and substrate type (Ref. 81644). Widely tolerant of extreme environmental conditions (Ref. 6465). Water parameters appear to play only a very minor role (Ref. 78218). The presence of an accessory breathing organ enables this species to breath air when very active or under very dry conditions. They remain in the muddy substrates of ponds and occasionally gulp air through the mouth (Ref. 6465). Can leave the water at night using its strong pectoral fins and spines in search of land-based food or can move into the breeding areas through very shallow pathways (Ref. 6868). Omnivorous bottom feeders which occasionally feed at the surface (Ref. 248). Feed at night on a wide variety of prey (Ref. 6868) like insects, plankton, invertebrates and fish but also take in young birds, rotting flesh and plants (Ref. 6465). Migrate to rivers and temporary streams to spawn (Ref. 34291). Also caught with dragnets. During intra-specific aggressive interactions, this species was noted to generate electric organ discharges that were monophasic, head-positive and lasting from 5-260 ms (Ref. 10479). Known as sharptooth catfish in aquaculture, a highly recommended food fish in Africa (Ref. 52863). Marketed fresh and frozen; eaten broiled, fried and baked (Ref. 9987).

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

Threat to humans

  Potential pest (Ref. 4537)



Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805)
PD50 = 0.5000 many relatives (e.g. carps) 0.5 - 2.0 few relatives (e.g. lungfishes)

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278)
3.8   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.

Resilience (Ref. 69278)
Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.06-0.19; tm=2; Fec > 10,000)

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153)
Very high vulnerability (79 of 100)
Price category (Ref. 80766)
Unknown