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Clarias gariepinus:   (click for more)

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Synonyms
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  • Macropteronotus charmuth  Lacepède, 1803: 84-85 (status uncertain, synonim of Clarias anguillaris or Clarias gariepinus ).
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  • Silurus (Heterobranchus) gariepinus  Burchell, 1822: 425 (original description).
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  • Clarias lazera  Valenciennes, 1840: 372.
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  • Clarias syriacus  Valenciennes, 1840: 375.
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  • Clarias capensis  Valenciennes, 1840: 377.
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  • Clarias mossambicus  Peters, 1852: 682.
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  • Clarias orontis  , 
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  • Clarias macracanthus  Günther, 1864: 16 and Clarias xenodon.
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  • Clarias robecchii  Vinciguerra, 1893: 450.
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  • Clarias guentheri  Pfeffer, 1896: 28.
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  • Clarias smithii  Günther, 1896: 219.
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  • Clarias longiceps  Boulenger, 1899: 103.
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  • Clarias moorii  Boulenger, 1901: 13.
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  • Clarias tsanensis  Boulenger, 1902: 438 and Clarias vinciguerrae.
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  • Clarias malaris  Nichols & Griscom, 1917: 705.
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  • Clarias notozygurus  Lönnberg & Rendhal, 1922: 125.
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  • Clarias depressus  Myers, 1925: 12.
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  • Clarias muelleri  Pietsmann, 1939: 184.
    FAO Names
    En - North African catfish, Fr - Poisson-chat nord-africain, Sp - Pez-gato.
    3Alpha Code: CLZ     Taxonomic Code: 1411803003
    Diagnostic Features
    Body elongate. Head large, depressed and bony with small eyes. Narrow and angular occipital process;  gill openings wide; air-breathing labyrinthic organ arising from gill arches; first gill arch with 24 to 110 gillrakers;  cleithrum pointed, narrow with longitudinal ridges and with sharpness. Mouth terminal, large. Four pairs of barbels present.  Long dorsal and anal fins; without dorsal fin spine and adipose fin. Anterior edge of pectoral spine serrated. Caudal fin rounded.  Colour varies from sandy-yellow through gray to olive with dark greenish-brown markings, belly white. 
    Can be confused with: The morphology of the cleithrum appears as a useful character to distinguish the closely related catfish species, Clarias anguillaris and C. gariepinus . Elsewhere, the difference seems less distinct, although the presence of a pointed cleithrum is typical for C. gariepinus (Benech et al ., 1993).

    Geographical Distribution

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    Native of Africa, Niger and Nile Rivers. Also extending to southern Africa, in the Limpopo, Orange-Vaal, Okavango and Cunene River systems; and to the Levant with Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Widely introduced to other parts of Africa, Europe and Asia. Trade restricted in Germany. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after.
    Habitat and Biology
    Freshwater, widely tolerant of extreme environmental conditions.The presence of an accessory breathing organ enables this species to breathe air when very active or under very dry conditions.Bottom feeder which occasionally feeds at the surface. Omnivorous, a general scavenger. Feeds on insects, crabs, plankton, snails and fish but also take young birds, rotting flesh, plants and fruits.During intra-specific aggressive interactions, this species was noted to generate electric organ discharges that were monophasic, head-positive and lasting from 5-260 ms.
    Spawning (between July to December) takes place during the rainy season in flooded deltas. 
    Size
    To 150 cm; max. weight 60 kg. The record individual from the country of Malawi was 16.1 Kg
    Interest to Fisheries
    One of the commercially most important freshwater fishes in Africa. Caught with drawnets. The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 27 220 t. The countries with the largest catches were Mali (15 091 t) and Nigeria (9 994 t).
    Has been imported for purposes of aquaculture and gamefish. Marketed live, fresh and frozen; eaten broiled, fried and baked.
    Local Names
    Afrikaans : Skerptandbaber .
    Arabic : Abu shanab ,  Balbout ,  Garmut .
    Bemba : Mulonge ,  Muta .
    Dinka-Northeastern : Attek ,  Cik .
    Dutch : Afrikaanse meerval .
    English : African catfish ,  Barbel ,  Catfish ,  Common catfish ,  North African catfish ,  Sharptooth catfish .
    French : Poisson-chat nord-africain .
    Fulfulde/Pulaar : Baleewu .
    German : Kiemensackwels ,  Welse .
    Hausa : Tarwada .
    Hebrew : Sfamnun matzui .
    Igbo : Arira .
    Ijo : Imunu .
    Japanese : Namazu .
    Kanuri : Kemudu .
    Khmer : Trey andaing afrik .
    Krio : Harlei ,  T-nima ,  Thamba .
    Nuer : Pet cick ,  Pet der .
    Nupe : Ejengi .
    Nyanja : Mlamba .
    Polish : Stawada .
    Russian : Yuzhnoafrikanskaya zubatka .
    Shilluk : Cogo .
    Soninké : Talage .
    Spanish : Pez gato africano .
    Swahili : Kambale ,  Kambale mumi ,  Kambali ,  Mlamba .
    Wolof : Bambara ,  Toucouleurs ,  Yess .
    Yoruba : Aro .
    Bibliography
    Species 2000 Dynamic (Checklist Query).
    Benech, V., G.G. Teugels & G. Gourene - 1993Critère practique pour distinguer deux poisson-chats africains, Clarias anguillaris et C. gariepinus (Siluriformes: Claridae). Cybium 17 (1): 83-85.
    Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2003. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org
    Rainboth, W.L. - 1996FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes.  . Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong.RomeFAO. 265 pp.
    Skelton, P.H. & G.G. Teugels - 1992 Neotype description for the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) (Pisces: Siluroidei: Clariidae). Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology.  , 56: 1-8.
    Vera, J. - 1992 Diccionario multilingüe de especies marinas para el mundo hispano.Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Secretaria General Técnica.  1282 pp.
     
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