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Zaireichthys pallidus Eccles, Tweddle & Skelton, 2011

Image contributors to this species:

Nathan Cook (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 4-5; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 9 - 12; Vertebrae: 36 - 38. Diagnosis: This species is generally more pallid and less conspicuously marked than other species of Zaireichthys. It differs from Zaireichthys conspicuus, Z. kunenensis, Z. lacustris and Z. maravensis in possessing a narrow premaxillary tooth patch, less than 40% of the mouth width; from Z. monomotapa by the smaller number of rays in the dorsal fin, 4-5 soft rays vs. 5-6), pectoral fins, 5-7 vs. 7-8, and caudal fin, 9-13 vs. 14-16; from Z. kavangoensis in colour pattern. Found in shallow water with a sandy bottom where it buries itself. It feeds on small invertebrates, including mayfly nymphs and caddis fly larvae. Colour: In life almost transparent, preserved usually very pale yellow, with a few minute black spots scattered irregularly over the body. A few specimens are darker, but rarely show a definite pattern except for a series of darker patches along the back, the first at the base of the dorsal, and an irregular darker line mid-laterally. The dark individuals can be readily distinguished from the other members of the genus by the shape of the melanophores, which are unusually large and rectangular in shape. Etymology: Named for its very pale colouration.

Common Name:

Pale sand catlet






Africa: Known only from the Upper Zambezi up to and including the Barotse Floodplain in Zambia (Tweddle et al., 2004), and the Chobe and Kwando rivers, in the area of the Eastern Caprivi, Namibia.


2.5cm. (1ins)


22-25°c (71-77°f.)




Eccles, D.H., D. Tweddle and P.H. Skelton, 2011. Eight new species in the dwarf catfish genus Zaireichthys (Siluriformes: Amphiliidae). Smithiana Bull. (13):3-28.



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