Dorsal spines (total): 0. Distinguished from Southeast
Asian congeners by an extremely short and rounded
occipital process and by a very high dorsal fin. The
combination of these characters are diagnostic for
the species. Occipital process wide, broadly curved,
with length 3-5 times in its width; distance between
dorsal and occipital process 5-7 times in distance
from tip of snout to end of occipital process. Habitat:
Lives in lowland wetlands and rivers and occurs in
shallow, open water and is capable of lying buried
in mud for lengthy period if ponds and lakes evaporate
during dry seasons. Can move out of the water using
its extended fins. Found in medium to large-sized
rivers, stagnant water bodies including sluggish flowing
canals and flooded fields of the Mekong. Reproduction:
Spawns in small streams and feeds on aquatic insects,
young shrimps and small fishes. In Thailand and Laos,
this fish is considered to be better and more nourishing
than Clarias batrachus; uncommon in Laos
but common in Thailand; thought wrongly as female
of Clarias batrachus in Thailand. Important
foodfish and in pond cultures. Marketed live, fresh
and frozen; consumed fried, broiled and baked. Cultivated
on a small scale but attempts to farm it are increasing.
The species is assessed as Near Threatened by the
IUCN at present due to the scale of decline in suitable
habitat, the impacts of introduced species and the
extensive population decline. If data were available
on the rate of population decline it is likely that
this species may even reach the thresholds for a threatened
Thailand to Viet Nam. Introduced to China, Malaysia,
Guam and the Philippines.
Frimodt, C., 1995.
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warmwater fish. Fishing News Books, Osney Mead, Oxford,
England. 215 p. Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2012). Kano Y, Adnan MSB, Grudpan C, Grudpan J, Magtoon
W, Musikasinthorn P, Natori Y, Ottomanski S, Praxaysonbath
B, Phongsa K, Rangsiruji A, Shibukawa K, Shimatani
Y, So N, Suvarnaraksha A, Thach P, Thanh PN, Tran
DD, Utsugi K, Yamashita T (2013) An online
database on freshwater fish diversity and distribution
in Mainland Southeast Asia. Ichthyological Research
60: 293-295. Kottelat, M., 2001. Fishes of Laos.
WHT Publications Ltd., Colombo 5, Sri Lanka. 198 p.
Teugels, G.G., R.C. Diego, L. Pouyaud and
M. Legendre, 1999. Redescription of Clarias
macrocephalus (Siluriformes: Clariidae) from Southeast
Asia. Cybium 23(3):285-295. Vidthayanon, C. & Allen, D. 2011.
Clarias macrocephalus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1.