Your internet guide to
all things catfish











Back to Family page Back to Family page

Heterobranchus bidorsalis  Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1809

Image contributors to this species:

Karl-Heinz Dau (1 Stamp)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

FishbaseGoogle SearchAll Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Aquarium Care: Grows too large for aquarium keeping and is a predator. Characteristics: Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 40 - 46; Anal soft rays: 49 - 58; Vertebrae: 62 - 63. Head oval-shaped to rectangular dorsally; snout broadly rounded; eyes rather laterally placed. Frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle relatively long and oval shaped. `Postorbital' bones completely united. Suprabranchial organ well developed. Pectoral spine smooth. Openings of secondary sensory canals with regular geometric pattern. Body and fins occasionally with irregularly placed spots. Remarks: Teugels et al. (1990) diagnosed this genus on the presence of a large adipose fin supported by 21-27 extended neural spines. The external morphology of Heterobranchus species is similar to that of Clarias and Dinotopteroides species. The most important difference is the presence of a large adipose fin. Eleven nominal species have been described in this genus and Teugels et al. (1990) recognised four of them as valid: Heterobranchus bidorsalis Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (type species), H. longifilis Valenciennes, 1840, H. isopterus Bleeker, 1863 and H.boulengeri Pellegrin, 1922. The genus is endemic to Africa. Its monophyletic nature was recently confirmed by genetic evidence (Agnèse and Teugels, 2001).

Common Name:



Heterobranchus geoffroyi, Heterobranchus senegalensis, Heterobranchus intermedius


Clariidae blycipitidae


Africa: Nile. Africa: Chad basin, Niger, Upper Volta, Guinea and Senegal. Also known from  the Gambia  River


140cm. (4ft 8ins)


22-28C (71-83F)




Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1995 Aquarien Atlas. Band 4. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde, Melle, Germany. 864 p.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (11/2009).
Teugels, G.G. and Agnèse, D. 2003 Taxonomy and Phylogeny of Clariidae - an overview. Flemish FWO project G.0388.00 on catfish. In Catfishes (2003) Eds. G.Arratia, B.G. Kapoor, M.Chardon & R.Diogo - 2 vols, pp 487.



Back to Family Back to Family page Back to Family Back to Family page













































































                           updated = February 24, 2017 © ScotCat 1997-2017