Cat-eLog Right Arrow Clariidae Right Arrow Heterobranchus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Heterobranchus longifilis  Valenciennes, 1840
Common Names Vundu
Vundu-malle (Denmark)
Type Locality Nile River, Egypt.
Synonym(s) Clarias loangwensis, Heterobranchus laticeps, Heterobranchus platycephalus
Pronunciation Het err o brach us - long ee fill iss
Etymology Heterobranchus: From the Greek heteros, meaning different and branchos, meaning fin; in reference to the presence of the two dorsal fins (rayed and adipose). The specific epithet comes from the Latin longus, meaning long and filum, meaning thread; in reference to the long barbels of the fish.
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 1500mm or 59.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Dorsal-fin rays 26-35; anal-fin rays 42-52; vertebrae 55-61. Head long, broad and somewhat rectangular in dorsal outline; snout broadly rounded; eyes with supero-lateral position. Frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle oval-shaped. Toothplates wide. Suprabranchial organ well developed. Pectoral spine strongly serrated on anterior side. Adipose fin with blackish posterior part, nearly as long as dorsal fin; caudal fin barred. Openings of secondary canals hardly visible but display a regular pattern.
Sexing Females stouter than males.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Africa: Nile, Niger, Sénégal, Congo system, upper and middle Zambezi. Also from Lakes Tanganyika and Edward Gambia and Bénoué River, Chad and Volta basins, and the coastal basins of Guinea to Nigeria.
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Niger (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nile (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Congo (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Zambesi, Middle Zambesi (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Zambesi, Upper Zambesi (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, Chad (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, Gambia (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Nigeria Waters, Niger, Bénoué (click on these areas to find other species found there)
African Waters, Volta (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 5.4 - 7.6
Temperature 20.0-27.0°C or 68-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Hefty filtration is required to clean-up after this greedy fish.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Simply anything digestible it can fit into its mouth. Will therefore take all normal aquarium foods.
Furniture Not really an aquarium fish. Although largely inactive and so doesn't require a great deal more room than simply to turn around do bear in mind though that this fish can easily reach the size of 1m in captivity.
Compatibility Will attack surprisingly large fish often with fatal results, a greedy, voracious predator. One for a species tank.
Breeding During spawning, the male first follows the female, swimming with the head against the side of the female, interspersed with periods of solitary swimming or inactivity). The pair then swim head against head with the male on top. This is followed by the male folding the body first around the head, and then the body of the female. During the latter stage, eggs and sperm are released. The female then pushes her head into the substrate and beats her tail vigorously, mixing the eggs and sperm.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference Histoire naturelle des poissons v. 15, pp 394, Pl. 447.
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Last Update 2019 Sep 22 06:59 (species record created: 2001 Oct 02 00:00)