laticeps belongs to theClaroteidae
family and the Clarotes genera includes one
other species in C. bidorsalis. The "Widehead
catfish" was a member of the African-Asian Bagridae
family until 1991 when Mo split it up and constructed
a new family, Claroteidae, for the African Bagrids.
The registered standard length for this species is
a whopping 80cm. (2ft. 8ins) but it is unlikely to
reach this size in captivity.
Very much a predator
due to its wide mouth and would need a large aquarium
to house it. Not a catfish for the average hobbyists
aquarium, but for an experienced catfish or tank buster
aquarist who can bring years of knowledge on keeping
fish of this size, it is a good and interesting addition.
Pimelodus laticeps, Bagrus laticeps, Bagrus nigrita,
Octonematichthys nigrita, Clarotes heuglinii, C. macrocephalus
Chrysichthys macropogon, C.nigrita, C. pitmani
Niger, Senegal, Bénoué, and Volta Rivers;
also in Lake Chad. Type locality:
80.0cm. (2ft. 8ins)
Head much depressed, snout
broad. Mouth inferior. Four pairs of barbels. Dorsal
fin spine strong, feebly serrated behind in the young,
with granulations in front in the adult. Adipose fin
rayed, supported by a spine. Caudal fin deeply forked,
lobes acutely pointed in juveniles, more obtusely,
or even rounded in adults.
Ground colour of of head
and body olive to dark brown, ventral region silvery
white. A blackish blotch above the humeral process.
Caudal fin with a brown or blackish band in the
centre of each lobe. Remaining fins yellowish to
Care & Compatibility
Provide good filtration for
this large species as they will consume large amounts
of food if fed heavily. A sand or fine non sharp gravel
for the substrate with a large rockscape and bogwood
setup. Would probably uproot plants so have them heavily
potted or even plastic plants would suffice if this
is part of your setup that you want. This is a predatory
species and as such the
tank mates would need to be larger so
as not to be looked on as lunch!.
Large species such as giant gouramis or large cyprinids
would make ideal tank mates as long as they are larger
than the catfish.
Sexually mature males alter
body shape in as much as the head and mouth get noticeably
Not reported as
it would be difficult due to the size of this species
In its natural habitat spawning takes place in the
Feeds on crustaceans, insects,
mollusks and fish in its natural habitat so not fussy
in the aquaria. Feed tablet, pellet, live and frozen
Clarotes:From the Greek, klarotes, a term for
slaves, people with bent necks; in reference to the
morphology of the head. laticeps: Broad head.
fin: Fleshy finlike
projection without rays, ( this specis has) behind the
rayed dorsal fin. Caudal fin:
The tail. Dorsal fin:The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Humeral process:Bony extension of the pectoral girdle. Standard Length (S.L.): Standard length
as measured from the snout to the caudal peduncle.
H.A. and R. Riehl
1991 Aquarien atlas. Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag
für Natur- und Heimtierkunde, Germany. 1104 p. Seegers, L.
2008 The catfishes of Africa. A handbook for identification
and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany.