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Auchenoglanis occidentalis  (Valenciennes, 1840)

Image contributors to this species:

Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2) Frants Lehmann (1 stamp) Reinhold Wawrzynski (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

 Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

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. senegali, A. tanganicanus, 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. 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).

Common Name:

Giraffe Catfish


Auchenaspis biscutata, 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


Claroteidae blycipitidae


Africa: Senegal, Casamange and Gambia river drainages in western Africa.. Type locality: Sénégal.


46cm. (18¼ins)


21-25°C (69-77°F)




ScotCat Factsheet no. 109. July 2005.
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.



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