Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfishes) > Clariidae
Etymology: Heterobranchus: Greek, heteros = other + Greek, brangchia = gill (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 22°C - 28°C (Ref. 12468); 35°N - 4°N
Africa: Nile (Ref. 3820), Senegal, Gambia, Volta,
Niger, Benue rivers and Lake Chad (Ref. 57129).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3820); max. published weight: 30.0 kg (Ref. 3799)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 49 - 58;
Vertebrae: 62 - 63. Diagnosis: length of rayed dorsal fin 37-42% standard length; 40-46 dorsal-fin rays; length of adipose fin 22-27% standard length (Ref. 57129). No serrations on the anterior part of the pectoral spine (Ref. 270, 57129). Head oval-shaped to rectangular dorsally; snout broadly rounded; eyes rather laterally placed; frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle relatively long and oval shaped; 'postorbital' bones completely united; suprabranchial organ well developed; pectoral spine smooth; openings of secondary sensory canals with regular geometric pattern (Ref. 270).
Coloration: preserved specimens: greyish-brown on back and sides, pale brown on belly; some specimens show a marbled colouration, particularly on posterior part of body; caudal fin often with one or more vertical cross-bars (Ref. 57129). Body and fins occasionally with irregularly placed spots (Ref. 270).
Facultative air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Hardly anything is known about the biology of this species (Ref. 78218). Maximum reported size for West Africa: 800 mm TL (Ref. 57129).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Teugels, G.G., B. Denayer and M. Legendre, 1990. A systematic revision of the African catfish genus Heterobranchus Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (Pisces: Clariidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 98:237-257. (Ref. 270)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00794 (0.00356 - 0.01774), b=2.96 (2.78 - 3.14), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (90 of 100).