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Parachanna obscura  (Günther, 1861)

African obscure snakehead
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Image of Parachanna obscura (African obscure snakehead)
Parachanna obscura
Female picture by Naus, E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Channidae (Snakeheads)
Etymology: Parachanna: Greek, para = the side of + Greek, channe, -es = anchovy (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 26°C - 28°C (Ref. 1672); 14°N - 3°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: widely distributed from the Senegal River to the Chad system (Ref. 3575, 57290) up to the Nile (Ref. 3575) and Congo basins (Ref. 45434, 106290, 111328), including the Volta and Niger basins and many coastal basins in West Africa (Ref. 57290). In Lower Guinea known from most coastal basins (Ref. 81648).

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 31256); max. published weight: 1.0 kg (Ref. 3799)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 39-45; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 26 - 32. Diagnosis: body elongate; lateral-line scales medium-sized, numbering 65-78; head depressed anteriorly, relatively long and covered with scales larger than those on body; lower jaw slightly longer than the upper, with 4-6 well developed canines; dorsal and anal fins not touching caudal fin; dorsal fin with 39-45, anal with 26-32 rays; 5-8 more or less rounded or polygonal dark blotches on sides (Ref. 57290, 81648). Coloration: blackish to very dark olivaceous, marbled with ochre ventrally; dark lateral band on head, broadening between hind margin of eye and hind margin of gill cover; fins with more or less distinct dark spots/maculae forming oblique bands; small, rounded black spot at base of caudal fin; fingerlings (prejuveniles) ochre-coloured, with a black band running along middle of sides, from tip of snout to hind margin of caudal fin (Ref. 57290, 81648).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits marginal vegetation and floodplains. Feeds on insects and small fish (Ref. 28714). Maximum SL reported 50.0 cm (Ref. 31256) larger than maximum TL 45.5 cm (Ref. 81648).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Teugels, G.G., J.J. Breine and D.F.E. Thys van den Audernaerde, 1984. Channidae. p. 288-290. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Checklist of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ORSTOM, Paris and MRAC, Tervuren. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3575)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource |

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Internet sources

Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.6250   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00759 (0.00589 - 0.00977), b=3.01 (2.94 - 3.08), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.56 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (47 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.