Cat-eLog Right Arrow Clariidae Right Arrow Clarias

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameClarias alluaudi  Boulenger, 1906
Common NamesAlluaud's Walking Catfish
Ssemutundu (Ugandan)
Type LocalityLake Victoria, Uganda and Kenya
Synonym(s)Clarias hilgendorfi
Pronunciationklar ee ass
EtymologyClarias: From the Greek chlaros, meaning lively; in reference to the ability of the fish to live for long periods out of water. In honour of C. Alluaud.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 350mm or 13.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationClarias species are characterized by having an elongated body; a soft rayed dorsal fin extending to, or nearly to, the caudal fin base; a soft rayed anal fin extending from just behind the anus to the caudal fin base; pectoral fins each with a serrated anterior bony spine; head depressed, covered largely by firmly sutured, surface sculptured bony plates forming a protective helmet; four pairs of flagellate barbels (nasals, maxillaries, inner and outer mandibulars); air breathing organs derived from the 2nd and 4th epibranchials within a superbranchial chamber.

Dorsal soft rays (total): 65 - 79; Anal soft rays: 57 - 64; Vertebrae: 52 - 55. Pectoral fin spine serrated on both inner and outer sides. Head oval-shaped in dorsal outline; snout short and slightly rounded; eyes more dorsally located. Frontal fontanelle long and narrow (`knife-shaped'); occipital fontanelle long and oval-shaped. Supraorbital and `dermospenoticum' joined. Tooth plates relatively small. gill rakers long, slender and distantly set. Suprabranchial organ well developed. Openings of the secondary sensory canals regularly arranged on flanks.The whole fish is uniformly brownish, lighter on the belly, which never is whitish as for example in C.gariepinus.
SexingThe genital papilla, which is to the right of the anus as you look at the fish with its head to the left, is elongated and pointed in males while it is round and relatively larger (and larger than the anus) in females. In ventral view especially, females are much broader in the body than males of equal age and rearing practices.
General RemarksA standard length of 35cm would be very large for this species and is most likely a mix-up with another species, most stay under 20cm. In and around Lake Rukwa the fish is common in smaller streams or swamps of the basin outside the lake.Probably there is some kind of ecological competition and C. alluaud is displaced from the lake by the larger C.gariepinus.This species can even be found in mountain streams if there is not too much current.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionAfrica: Lakes Victoria, Kyoga, Edward, Rukwa and Tanganyika.
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Victoria (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Edward (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nile, Upper Nile, White Nile, Kyoga (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Western Rift Valley Lakes, Tanganyika (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Southern Rift Lakes, Rukwa (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingIn the wild feeds mainly on insects, in the aquarium it is likely to be a typical clariid and be omnivorous and predatory, therefore will eat virtually anything that can be considered edible.
FurnitureIn the wild found in marginal water-lily and papyrus swamps, so very well rooted plants and structures such as pipes that provide some shade and hiding places.
CompatibilityShould be be housed with lively, robust fish.Keeping in mind the smaller adult size as compared to other species of it's genus.
Suggested TankmatesMedium to larger sized barbs, Ctenopoma, mid-sized Lake Victoria cichlids.
BreedingNot reported.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesAnnals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 7) v. 17 (no. 101) pp437.
The Fishes of the Lake Rukwa Drainage,Seegers pg.201
Registered KeepersNone.
Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2011 June
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 18:20 (species record created: 2009 Apr 08 23:31)