Clarias cavernicola Trewavas, 1936
Cave catfish
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Family:  Clariidae (Airbreathing catfishes)
Max. size:  16.1 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal,
Distribution:  Africa: known only from the type locality, Aigumas Cave, North Otavi, Namibia. Major threat is depletion of ground water (Ref. 7248).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 71-76; Anal soft rays: 66-61. Devoid of pigment. Eyes extremely small; covered with skin; dorsally located. Head rectangular in dorsal outline; snout broadly rounded. Frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle long and oval-shaped. Supraorbital and `dermosphenotic' bones fused. Premaxillary tooth plate rather broad. gill rakers long, slender and distantly set. Suprabranchial organ greatly reduced. Openings of the secondary sensory canals regularly arranged along flanks.
Biology:  Lacks pigment. Lives in caves (Ref. 248) and is adapted to life underground (Ref. 78218); over shelves in open, clear water. Feeds on bat droppings, animal carcasses and terrestrial insects that fall into the lake (Ref. 7248).
IUCN Red List Status: Critically Endangered (CR); Date assessed: 01 March 2007 (B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii)) Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 15.02.91
Modified by: Geelhand, Dimitri - 20.03.13
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 10.05.94

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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