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Clarias anguillaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

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Clarias anguillaris
Picture by Teugels, G.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Siluriformes (Catfishes) > Clariidae (Airbreathing catfishes)
Etymology: Clarias: Greek, chlaros = lively, in reference to the ability of the fish to live for a long time out of water.
More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - ? m (Ref. 248). Tropical; 32°N - 5°N

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Africa: lower and middle Nile; Chad system including the Logone and the Shari rivers; Niger and Benoue river systems; coastal rivers of Benin, Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire; Gambia and lower Senegal rivers; Volta system; relict populations occur in Mauritania and southern Algeria (Ref. 248). Also in the lower Cross in Nigeria (Ref. 81644). Trade restricted in FRG.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3799); max. published weight: 7.0 kg (Ref. 3799)

Short description Identification keys | Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 60 - 82; Anal soft rays: 42 - 61. Diagnosis: 16-50 gill rakers on first gill arch (much more reduced compared to Clarias gariepinus)(Ref. 57129, 81644), subject to geographical variations (Ref. 57129). Head oval-shaped to rectangular in dorsal outline; snout broadly rounded; eyes rather lateral in position and, together with relatively broad head, make for a relatively large interorbital distance; number of gill rakers on first branchial arch subject to much variation, 16-40, rarely exceeding 40; dorsal fin base situated close to occipital process; dorsal fin always terminates before caudal fin base, distance between both small; anal fin originates closer to caudal fin base than to tip of snout, nearly reaching caudal fin but never confluent; pelvic fin base slightly closer to tip of snout than to caudal fin base, reaching base of first anal fin rays; pectoral fin extend from operculum to base of first dorsal fin rays (Ref. 248). Pectoral spine slightly curved and robust (Ref. 248), serrated only on its outer side (Ref. 248, 81644), number of serrations increases with increasing standard length (Ref. 248). Lateral line appears as a small, white line running from posterior end of head to middle of caudal fin base (Ref. 248). Openings of secondary sensory canals (flank neuromasts) clearly marked, showing a regular pattern (Ref. 248, 81644).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Facultative air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Very common in inundated areas. Bury themselves in the mud when the pools are drying up. Feed mainly on fish and mollusks; also crustaceans, diatoms, detritus and bottom organisms (Ref. 248). Omnivorous and reproduction takes place in the rainy saison (Ref. 78218). Max. size for West Africa and Lower Guinea: 650mm TL (Ref. 57129, 81644).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturities | Reproduction | Spawnings | Egg(s) | Fecundities | Larvae

Breeding season varies among localities, apparently timed to the rainy season.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Teugels, G.G., 1986. A systematic revision of the African species of the genus Clarias (Pisces; Clariidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci. Zool., 247:199 p. (Ref. 248)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 28 April 2019


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial
FAO - Aquaculture systems: production; Fisheries: landings, species profile; Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Trophic ecology
Food items
Diet compositions
Food consumptions
Food rations
Population dynamics
Max. ages / sizes
Length-weight rel.
Length-length rel.
Mass conversions
Life cycle
Spawning aggregations
Egg developments
Larval dynamics
FAO areas
BRUVS - Videos
Gill areas
Body compositions
Oxygen consumptions
Swimming type
Swimming speeds
Visual pigment(s)
Fish sounds
Diseases / Parasites
Toxicities (LC50s)
Human related
Aquaculture systems
Aquaculture profiles
Ciguatera cases
Stamps, coins, misc.


Special reports

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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Aquaculture systems: production; Fisheries: landings, species profile; Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | OsteoBase: skull, spine | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00794 (0.00636 - 0.00993), b=2.97 (2.92 - 3.02), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.51 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Assuming tm=2-4; Fec < 10,000).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (60 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 18.9 [9.6, 92.2] mg/100g; Iron = 1.21 [0.68, 2.07] mg/100g; Protein = 16.9 [15.9, 18.0] %; Omega3 = 0.207 [0.067, 0.587] g/100g; Selenium = 151 [51, 382] μg/100g; VitaminA = 24.3 [8.1, 69.9] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.721 [0.509, 1.023] mg/100g (wet weight);