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Heterobranchus isopterus Bleeker, 1863

Image contributors to this species:

Karsten Mody (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

FishbaseGoogle SearchAll Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Photographed by the image contributor on locality at Côte d'Ivoire Tai National Park 2005. Characteristics: Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 28 - 35; Anal soft rays: 40 - 51; Vertebrae: 53 - 60. Eyes with superolateral position. Frontal fontanelle long and narrow; occipital fontanelle oval-shaped. Head completely covered with bones. Suprabranchial organ well developed. Pectoral spine distinctly serrated on anterior side. Tooth plates relatively narrow. Openings of secondary sensory canals regularly placed. 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). Aquarium Care: Nocturnal and as such would need a large aquarium with hiding places among plants where it can retire during the daylight hours. As akin for this genus it will be predatory on smaller fishes. Diet: Omnivore.

Common Name:



Heterobranchus macronema




Africa: coastal basins of Guinea (Konkouré) to southeast Nigeria (Cross River); also known from the upper Senegal River. Type locality: Guinea, Rio Boutry.


60cm. SL. (24ins)


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 (11/2010).
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.



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                           updated = September 17, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018