Schilbe grenfelli (Boulenger, 1900)
photo by Hippocampus-Bildarchiv

Family:  Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
Max. size:  50.7 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater,
Distribution:  Africa: lower, middle and upper Congo River basin, including Pool Malebo (= Stanley Pool); OgoouĂ© and Nyanga basins in Gabon; Ntem-Campo, Nyong and Lokoundje basins in Cameroon (Ref. 43912). Also in the Mitemboni River (Gabon-Equatorial Guinea border) and lower Nkomi River basin (Gabon)(Ref. 81643). Reports from the Lali River (upper Kouilou basin) in Republic of Congo or from the Chad basin are based on misidentified specimens; presence in the Ruzisi unlikely, based on a single specimen that is probably mislabelled (Ref. 43912).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1. Diagnosis: adipose fin present (Ref. 43912, 81643) and fully developed (Ref. 81643). Anterior nostrils closer to each other than the posterior pair; nasal barbel not reaching beyond the posterior border of the eye; inner side of pectoral spine weakly serrated; snout reaching beyond lower jaw; head rounded (Ref. 43912, 81643). Description: mouth subterminal (Ref. 81643). 44-59 branched anal rays (Ref. 43912, 81643). 46-49 non fused vertebrae; 8-9 branchiostegal rays on one side of head; caudal peduncle always longer than deep; nasal barbel reaches at least to anterior border of eye and at maximum to posterior border of eye; maxillary and outer mandibular barbels at least reach to anterior border of opercle and at maximum to posterior border of opercle; inner mandibular barbels short and never reach beyond posterior eye border (Ref. 43912). Schilbe grenfelli belongs to the group of species with a uniform, silvery coloration, a rather small inferior mouth and the anterior nostrils closer to each other than are the posterior ones, as is also the case in S. banguelensis and S. mystus, but is easily distinguished from S. banguelensis by its short nasal barbel never reaching beyond the orbit and from S. mystus by the serrations on the inner side of the pectoral spines which are fine in S. grenfelli but coarse in S. mystus (Ref. 43912). Coloration: in life: head and dorsum greyish brown, flanks often greyish silver with purple/iridescent reflections; ventrally, head and body whitish or silvery; pectoral, pelvic and anal fins yellowish basally, body of fins often grey and speckled (Ref. 43912, 81643). Preserved specimens: often uniformly pale brown (Ref. 43912, 81643).
Biology:  Omnivorous or predominantly carnivorous, feeding on fruits, leaves, grains, insect larvae and nymphs, and small fish; very voracious; juveniles found in floodplains during the rainy season, often hidden under floating trunks of trees which seems a favorite place for juvenile Schilbe and numerous other fish larvae; active swimmer, especially during the night, probably resting near the bottom during daytime (Ref. 43912). Oviparous, eggs are unguarded (Ref. 205). Important species in fishery terms (Ref. 78218). Flesh of this fish very tasty, its price rather elevated (Ref. 43912).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 16 February 2009 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  harmless

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.