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.
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
Saint-Hilaire, 1809 (type species), H.
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. Remarks:
Photographed by the image contributor on locality
at Côte d'Ivoire Tai National Park 2005.
coastal basins of Guinea (Konkouré) to southeast
Nigeria (Cross River); also known from the upper Senegal
River. Type locality: Guinea, Rio
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.