Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total):
60-80; Anal soft rays: 56 - 63; Vertebrae: 58 - 61.
Characterized by its lateral line which appears as
a thick white band; barbels extremely short. Head
long, broad and flattened. Frontal fontanelle long
and extremely narrow. Occipital fontanelle rather
small. The `dermosphenotic' and supraorbital bones
are separated. Tooth plate extremely broad. Pectoral
spine straight and robust. Suprabranchial organ well
developed but not completely filling the chamber.
Habitat: Occurs in well-vegetated sluggish
river channels and floodplain lagoons. Colouration:Dark brown base colour, irregularly spotted
with black and dark brown. The lateral line is clearly
visible as a prominent white line or band extending
to the middle of the caudal fin base. Reproduction:
Breeds during the summer rainy season. Diet:
Eats invertebrates and, when older, other fishes.
This species has a wide distribution, with no known
major widespread threats. It is, however, threatened
in the Lake Malawi catchment, where it has been recorded
only in the Limphasa Dambo in streams and irrigation
channels, and in very small numbers, with only two
specimens found in 1992 (Tweddle and Skelton, 1993).
Since then, there has been a large increase in human
population in the area and the Limphasa River is now
more turbid with loss of riparian vegetation. This
may affect the status in Malawi and the Limphasa population,
if assessed would likely be considered Endangered.
It is, however, widespread and not threatened throughout
the rest of its range, and is therefore listed as
Least Concern (IUCN Red List).
system (upper Congo River basin), upper Kasai drainage
(middle Congo River basin), Kafue River, upper Zambezi
system, Cunene River and Okavango. Type locality:
Ruisseau affluent de la Lukinda, Tanganika-Moero.
1915 collected in Angola by South African
Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (licensed under
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes,
recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and
catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2022. FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
version (07/2022). Seegers, L. 2008 The catfishes of
Africa. A handbook for identification and maintenance.
Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604 p. Teugels, G.G., 1986. A systematic
revision of the African species of the genus Clarias
(Pisces; Clariidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci.
Zool., 247:199 p Tweddle, D., Kazembe, J., Marshall, B. &
Moelants, T. 2018. Clarias stappersii. The
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018.