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Amphilius uranoscopus (Pfeffer, 1889)

Image contributors to this species:

Hans van Heusden (1) Andrew Deacon (1) Christian Fry (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Amphilius uranoscopus is a demersal species that colonises lakes but prefers fast flowing streams, with pebbles and boulders, where the water is rich in oxygen (Seegers 1996). It survives in fast flowing rapids by paired fins adapted to form suckers to allow the fish to flatten themselves against the rocks. It feeds on stream insects and other small organisms off rock surfaces (Skelton 1993). This species breeds in summer, laying eggs underneath stones. The juveniles are easily mistaken for tadpoles. It is preyed on by trout and probably eels (Skelton 1993). Diet: Mosquito larvae, Tubifex, Cyclops, Daphnia, grindal worms, vegetable food, tablet and flake. Aquarium Care: Can be kept in aquaria with a small grained gravel or sand substrate, and well planted. Remarks: The species shown was captured by the image contributor in the Wami drainage: CAS 80494, Tanzania, Nguru Mountains, Nguru South Forest Reserve, 6°7'S, 37°32'E (2: 49.1-101.4); BMNH 1969.1.15.1, Tanzania, Stream at Arusha in the foothills of Mount Meru, 3°21'57"S, 36°40'28"E (1: 84.7). It is not known whether the spotted species from the north Malagarasi drainage is A. uranoscopus or are another species such as A. kivuensis.

Common Name:

Stargazer mountain catfish


Anoplopterus uranoscopus, Chimarrhoglanis leroyi, Amphilius hargeri, Amphilius oxyrhinus, Amphilius brevidorsalis, Amphilius platychir cubangoensis.




Africa (eastern) : Okavango and Zambezi basins, eastern coastal Rivers south to the Mkuze basin, Natal, and throughout east and Central Africa (Skelton, 1993); Lake Rukwa basin (Seegers, 1996). Type locality: Bad bei Ushonda (Ungúu), ... Bäche bei Mhonda.


18.0cm. (7ins)


20-24°c (67-75°f.)




Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628
Bills, R., Cambray, J., Hanssens, M. & Marshall, B. 2010. Amphilius uranoscopus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T182690A7944254. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T182690A7944254.en. Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
Skelton, P.H., 1993. A complete guide to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern Book Publishers. 388 p
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2015.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, ( 10/2015 )
Seegers, L., 2008. The catfishes of Africa: A handbook for identification and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604 p.



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