north African catfish

Scientific name Clarias gariepinus
Descriptor Burchell
Year of description 1822
IUCN category LC
Family Clariidae
Genus Clarias
Clarias gariepinus Clarias gariepinus


Clarias gariepinus, commonly known as north African catfish, is a fresh water fish from the Africa.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    90 cm
  • Maximum size
    170 cm
  • Longevity
    15 year
  • Average size
    90 cm
  • Maximum size
    170 cm
  • Longevity
    15 year

How to recognize the north African catfish ?

This fish has the particularity to possess several pairs of barbels, which allow him to search the bottom and to detect the food thus moved.

The north African catfish measures between 90 and 170 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly marron, beige and gris body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The north African catfish hunts in the stalk and is one of the predators of its biotope. Opportunistic, it does not hesitate to attack any smaller animal nearby.

The north African catfish is a fish solitary naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

Although the north African catfish is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction
  • Migratory species

The north African catfish is a fish ovipare.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    8 - 35 °C
  • pH (acidity)
    6.5 - 8
  • gh (hardness)
    5 - 28

Biotope presentation

The north African catfish is most often found at a depth between 0m and 80m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

Reproduction, growth, health control and aquacultural potential of the African catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) - E.A.Huisman - C.J.J.Richter - Elsevier Ltd - 1987.

Introduction of the African Catfish Clarias gariepinus (BURCHELL, 1822) into Southern Brazil - J. R. S. Vitule - S. C. Umbria - J. M. R. Aranha - Springer Nature - 2006.

The ecology of the catfish Clarias gariepinus and Clarias ngamensis in the Shire Valley, Malawi - N. G. Willoughby - D. Tweddle - ZSL - 1978.

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Where to see this species?

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Species of the same biotope

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