Clarias gabonensis Günther, 1867
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Family:  Clariidae (Airbreathing catfishes)
Max. size:  36 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; pH range: 6 - 7.5; dH range: 25,
Distribution:  Africa: basins of the Ogooué, Noya (Muni River tributary), Kouilou and Chiloango (Ref. 81644), as well as in the lower and middle Congo River basin including Lake Tumba and Pool Malebo (Ref. 248). Also reported from the upper Congo (Ref. 106245).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 72-88; Anal soft rays: 56-71; Vertebrae: 55-71. Diagnosis: head length 24.4-27.7% SL (Ref. 81644, 101841). Head rather pointed in dorsal outline; snout slightly rounded; eyes located more dorsally (Ref. 248). Interorbital distance 41.1-45.4% HL (Ref. 101841). Tooth plates relatively small (Ref 248), width of premaxillary tooth plate 21.3-28.2% HL, and of vomerine tooth plate 18.6-25.9% HL (Ref. 101841). Nasal barbel 78.3-110% HL; outer mandibular barbel 58.0-142% HL (Ref. 101841). Frontal fontanelle short and squat (`sole-shaped'); occipital fontanelle small and oval-shaped; `dermosphenotic' and supraorbital bones become sutured in larger specimens (above 65 mm SL) (Ref. 248). Pectoral spine robust, slightly curved (Ref. 248) and strongly serrated on outside and inside (Ref. 81644, 101841). Number of gill rakers varies with standard length (Ref. 248), 16-28 on first gill arch (Ref. 81644). Suprabranchial organ well developed, nearly filling the cavity (Ref. 248). Openings of the lateral branches of the lateral line irregularly placed (Ref. 248, 81644). 56-71 anal fin rays (Ref. 81644). Large part of bony surface of cleithrum exposed through the skin; posterior border of visible part sometimes forms almost straight line; cleithrum length 21.5-26.0% HL; dorsal fin length 65.7-75.0% SL; distance from dorsal to caudal fin 0.0-2.5% SL (Ref. 101841). Colouration: brownish yellow in life; pigmentation may be uniform but is more often marbled, with many, small yellowish spots (Ref. 81644, 101841). Distal quarter of caudal fin is clearer than anterior portion (Ref. 248, 81644, 101841). Some specimens may show irregular pattern of small white spots on body (Ref. 101841).
Biology:  Found in lakes, rivers and floodplains (during breeding season); stomach contents consisted of sand, plants, larvae of Ephemeroptera, Trichoptera and Chironomidae, remains of insects and fish scales (Ref. 248, 78218).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 February 2009 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 14.02.91
Modified by: Geelhand, Dimitri - 22.05.15
Checked by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 10.05.94

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