Teugels et al. (1991) considered the genus Auchenoglanis
to be comprised of two valid species: A. biscutatus
and A. occidentalis.Due to the
work carried out recently (2010) by Michael Retzer
there are now 8 in this genus with six new species,
A. acuticeps, A.
biscutatus, A. occidentalis,
A. sacchii, A.
tchadiensis and A.
wittei. The main description
for A. occidentalis is that it can be differentiated
from all other congeners (except A. tchadiensis)
by having a uniformly coloured body. It differs
from A. tchadiensis by having oval-shaped
tooth patches on the upper jaw vs.triangular for A.
tchadiensis. This Bagrid can grow to an impressive
46cm (18¼ins) but it is basically a gentle
giant and can be trusted with anything that can not
fit into its small mouth. Its long pointed snout is
well adapted to "sook" up worms and detritus
in the sandy substrate and as such you should provide
your specimen(s) with a sand floor to your aquarium
with an external power filter that has a good flow
rate. It goes without saying of course that you will
need to provide this catfish with a spacious tank
considering its adult size. Abstract:
The taxonomic history of the African catfish genus
Auchenoglanis includes eight nominal species,
with two of these, Auchenoglanis biscutatus
and Auchenoglanis occidentalis, being recognised
as valid by most authors. The validity of all eight
species was recently established based on mainly pigmentation-related
characters and the shape of the premaxillary tooth
plates. As these results opposed previous works but
lacked any mention of these, the species diversity
in the genus was re-evaluated based on biometric,
meristic and other morphological data. It reconfirms
the status of only two valid species within the genus.
Auchenoglanis occidentalis ranks among the
African fish species with very large distribution
areas, being present from Senegal to Tanzania. Auchenoglanis
biscutatus is distinguished from A. occidentalis
by a postorbital head length that is greater than
the preorbital head length, an adipose fin that rises
abruptly, and a maxillary barbel with a tip not darker
than the head colour (Geerinckx &
Vreven 2013). Reproduction:
No reports on the breeding of this species in captivity
as it would need a very large tank with a number of
individuals. In its natural
habitat the nested eggs are guarded by the male. Furthermore,
the male plays host to eggs and young of Dinotopterus
cunningtoni, a member of the Claridae catfish
family, which takes advantage of the already prepared
nest and feeds on the host brood.Aquarium Care: It is very
tolerant to most water parameters and as such you
can keep it in a low p.H. (6.5) with larger Characins
or Barbs or even in a Lake Tanganyika setup with Cichlids
from that lake in harder water, but my choice would
be to stick with the former soft and acidic conditions
for a more contented individual(s). Remarks:
A. acuticeps Pappenheim, 1914, A. tanganicanus
Boulenger, 1906, A. chadiensis Pellegrin,
1909, A. sacchii (Vinciguerra, 1898) and
A. wittei Giltay, 1930 are now all considered
synonyms of A. occidentalis.
A.biscutatus, A.occidentalis, Auchenoglanis
biscutatus, Pimelodus occidentalis, A. biscutatus
occidentalis, Auchenoglanis occidentalis occidentalis,
Oxyglanis sacchii, Auchenoglanis occidentalis
var. tanganicanus, A. occidentalis tchadiensis, A.
tchadensis, A. scutatus, A. acuticeps, A. wittei,
A. occidentalis tanganyikanus, A. vittatus, A.
acuticeps, A. tanganyikanus.
Casamange and Gambia river drainages in western Africa..
Type locality: Sénégal.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2009). Retzer, ME (2010) Taxonomy of Auchenoglanis
Günther 1865 (Siluriformes: Auchenoglanididae).
Zootaxa 2655, pp. 25–51. ScotCat
109. July 2005. Tom Geerinckx & Emmanuel Vreven
(2013) A re-evaluation of the species-level diversity
within the catfish genus Auchenoglanis (Siluriformes:
Claroteidae), Journal of Natural History, 47:47-48,