Morphology Data of Clarias gabonensis
Identification keys
Main Ref. Teugels, G.G., 1986
Appearance refers to
Bones in OsteoBase

Sex attributes

Specialized organs no special organs
Different appearance males alike females
Different colors males alike females

Descriptive characteristics of juvenile and adult

Striking features none
Body shape lateral elongated
Cross section oval
Dorsal head profile more or less straight
Type of eyes more or less normal
Type of mouth/snout more or less normal
Position of mouth sub-terminal/inferior
Type of scales scales embedded or partly/completely absent

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).

Ease of Identification

Meristic characteristics of Clarias gabonensis

Lateral Lines 1 Interrupted: No
Scales on lateral line
Pored lateral line scales
Scales in lateral series
Scale rows above lateral line
Scale rows below lateral line
Scales around caudal peduncle
Barbels 0
Gill clefts (sharks/rays only) absent
Gill rakers
on lower limb
on upper limb
total 16 - 28
total 55 - 71


Dorsal fin(s)

Attributes extending over most of the back length
Fins number 1
Finlets No. Dorsal   0
Ventral  0
Spines total 0 - 0
Soft-rays total 72 - 88
Adipose fin absent

Caudal fin

Attributes more or less truncate; more or less normal

Anal fin(s)

Fins number 1
Spines total
Soft-rays total 56 - 71

Paired fins

Pectoral Attributes  more or less normal
Spines     1
Soft-rays   8 - 10
Pelvics Attributes  more or less normal
Position    abdominal  behind origin of D1
Soft-rays   6
Main Ref. (e.g. 9948)
Glossary ( e.g. cephalopods )
Entered by Binohlan, Crispina B.
Modified by Musschoot, Tobias
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cfm script by eagbayani, 17.10.00, php script by rolavides, 13/03/08 ,  last modified by sortiz, 06.27.17