Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Bagridae
Etymology: Bagrus: Mozarabic, bagre, taken from Greek, pagros = a fish (Dentex sp.) (Ref. 45335). More on author: Forsskål.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.5 - 8.2; dH range: ? - 30; depth range 0 - 80 m (Ref. 34291), usually 0 - 70 m (Ref. 34291). Tropical; 21°C - 25°C (Ref. 2060)
Africa: widely distributed throughout Tchad, Niger, Volta, Senegal (Ref. 57125), Mono, Oueme, Cross and Sanaga Rivers, as well as the Rift Valley Lakes Edward, George, Albert, Victoria and Tanganyika (Ref. 81641), but not Lake Kivu (Ref. 46152). Widely distributed in Nile system (Ref. 28714, 31439, 58460). In the Lukuga River (Lake Tanganyika outflow), known up to the Kisimba-Kilia rapids (Ref. 93587).
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?, range 20 - 25.9 cm
Max length : 127 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 42492); common length : 62.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 11248); max. published weight: 35.0 kg (Ref. 4537); max. reported age: 5 years (Ref. 11248)
soft rays: 11 - 14;
Vertebrae: 46 - 49. Diagnosis: head depressed (Ref. 43434), broad, about 1.3-1.6 times as long as wide (Ref. 30488). Head width measured at base of preopercle 58.9-71.8% head length (Ref. 81641). Head width 1.4-1.6 times in head length (Ref. 57125). Body slightly elongated, 5-6 times longer than deep (Ref. 7324, 57125, 81641). Four pairs of barbels (Ref. 34290). Premaxillary tooth plate 5-7 times longer than wide, a little shorter than and about as broad as the band of vomerine teeth (Ref. 2899). Premaxillary toothplate width less than 2.5 times in head length (Ref. 57125). Occipital process 3-5 times longer than wide (Ref. 57125, 81641). Predorsal length 2.4-2.7 times in standard length; 9-10 branched dorsal fin rays, not or only slightly filamentous (Ref. 57125, 81641). Long adipose dorsal fin present (Ref. 34290), narrowly separated from the dorsal fin (Ref. 51936). Standard length/caudal peduncle length 2.4-2.7 (Ref. 57125).
Inhabit lakes, swamps and rivers (Ref. 31256). Widespread in both shallow and deep water (Ref. 34291). Probably associated with rocky bottoms/coarse substrates (Ref. 27490). Mostly active during the night and the twilight hours (Ref. 2060). Juveniles may frequent exposed rocky shores (Ref. 12526). Feed on insects, crustaceans, mollusks and fish. Some debris and vegetable matter may also be ingested (Ref. 28714). Moderately important as a food species in Lake Victoria, but becoming rare with the appearance of Nile perch (Ref. 4967). Catches decreased strongly in Lake Victoria after the Lates upsurge (Ref. 34291). Predation by Lates and competition with Lates (for haplochromines) may have played a role in the decline (Ref. 34291). A notably recovery in waters between 3m and 6m depth in Lake Victoria has been reported (Ref. 51900). Second most important food species in Lake Edward, Congo (Ref. 13302).
Distinct pairing (Ref. 205).
Risch, L.M., 1992. Bagridae. p. 395-431. In C. Lévêque, D. Paugy and G.G. Teugels (eds.) Faune des poissons d'eaux douces et saumâtres d'Afrique de l'Ouest. Tome 2. Coll. Faune Tropicale N° XXVIII. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique and O.R.S.T.O.M., Paris, France. (Ref. 7324)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; gamefish: yes
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5005 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00933 (0.00724 - 0.01203), b=3.00 (2.93 - 3.07), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.1 ±0.95 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm-2-3; tmax=5; K=0.06-0.35; Fec=2,000-774,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (75 of 100) .