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Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Clarias gariepinus  (Burchell, 1822)
Common Names Sharptooth Catfish
Afrikansk ålemalle (Denmark), Barbel, North African Catfish, Skerptandbaber
Type Locality Vaal River, at Smidtsdrift, above confluence with Riet River, Cape Province, South Africa (28°42'10''S, 24°04'29''E).
Synonym(s) Clarias capensis, Clarias depressus, Clarias guentheri, Clarias lazera, Clarias longiceps, Clarias macracanthus, Clarias malaris, Clarias microhthalmus, Clarias moorii, Clarias mossambicus, Clarias muelleri, Clarias notozygurus, Clarias orontis, Clarias robecchii, Clarias smithii, Clarias syriacus, Clarias tsanensis, Clarias vinciguerrae, Clarias xenodon, Silurus gariepinus
Pronunciation klar ee ass - gar ee PINE uss
Etymology Clarias: From the Greek chlaros, meaning lively; in reference to the ability of the fish to live for long periods out of water. 
Article Link - CotM Right 2007 Right July
Down Species Information
Size 1700mm or 66.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Clarias 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.
Sexing Male has a distinct sexual papilla, located just behind the anus. See these diagrams.
General Remarks A very hardy fish, tolerant of poor water quality. Can survive in wet mud as it breathes air - this hardiness has led to its introduction in many countries worldwide. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction. Trade restricted in Germany (Anl.3 BArtSchV).
Down Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: almost Pan-Africa, absent from Maghreb, the upper and lower Guinea and the Cape province and probably also Nogal province. Asia: Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria and southern Turkey. Widely introduced to other parts of Africa, Europe and Asia. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction. Trade restricted in Germany (Anl.3 BArtSchV).
African Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2018.
pH 5.6 - 8.0
Other Parameters Max Salinity: 10 mg/l.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Eats anything from zooplankton to birds, actively hunts fishes at night. Feeds mainly on invertebrates during the day. User data.
Furniture Pipes or other structures for it to hide in.
Suggested Tankmates Large fishes around its size that can't fit into its mouth.
Breeding Breeds in rainy season, breeding triggered by rise in water level. Spawns in the shallows. No parental care of eggs or young.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down Further Information
Reference Travels in the interior of southern Africa. 2 vols., pp 425, Fig. on p. 445.
Registered Keepers There are 9 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 9 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Dec 30 00:49 (species record created: 2001 May 04 00:00)