Cat-eLog Right Clariidae Right Channallabes  |  | 

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Channallabes apus  (Günther, 1873)
Common Names Eel Catfish
Lemmeløs ålemalle (Denmark)
Type Locality Interior of Ambriz, Angola.
Synonym(s) Gymnallabes apus
Pronunciation cha nal ah bez - ah pess
Etymology Channallabes: From the Greek, channe, meaning anchovy and allabes, the name of a Nilotic fish (a kind of lamprey); in reference to the shape of the fish. From the Greek prefix a- meaning without and pous, meaning foot; in reference to the lack of pelvic fins.
Article Link - CotM Right 2010 Right July
Down Species Information
Size 327mm or 12.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Distinguished by the extremely elongate body, reduced cranial shield, confluent median fins, small eyes and absence of pelvic fins.
Sexing The 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. It may be hard to see with the naked eye.
General Remarks Recent research has documented this species' ability to feed terrestially (videos above). The catfish's neck is especially flexible, with specialized vertebrae that allow it to hold its head up out of the water without using fins. The fish's diet provided the scientists with the first clue to its remarkable behaviour - it mainly eats beetles which are found on land. The researchers speculate that a similar feeding strategy could have been used by the first vertebrates to emerge from the oceans.

The fish is known to burrow into the substrate and has been caught by hook and line in waterlogged areas adjacent to rivers and swamps simply by digging a hole and fishing in the resulting pool.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Angola to Congo River Basin.
African Waters, Congo (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 2009.
pH 5.8 - 7.0
Temperature 22.0-27.0°C or 71.6-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Sensitive to bad water; this species appears particularly susceptible to bacterial / parasitic infections.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Will take all manner of pelleted food, as well as frozen/live food (the latter being preferred). User data.
Furniture Provide plenty of driftwood for the fish to hide. Ensure that the tank cover is tight-fitting/weighed down, they are capable of climbing out.
Compatibility A peaceful fish that is best suited for the West African biotope tank. Ideal tankmates include mid-sized African barbs, tetras, and cichlids.
Breeding Not reported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down Further Information
Reference Annals and Magazine of Natural History (Series 4) v. 12 (no. 68) (art. 19), pp 142.
Registered Keepers There are 14 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 3 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2020 Sep 19 05:14 (species record created: 2001 Jun 09 00:00)