larotes laticeps belongs to the Claroteidae 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.
This Afrcan bagrid could be mistaken
for a Bagrus species but the small and well set back
adipose fin, and the spine and rays on this fin, is a giveaway
to this species. The long maxillary
barbels can reach back past the dorsal fin. Another identification
guide is the black blotch above the humeral process and also
the brown or blackish bands in the centre of each caudal fin
lobe. May not look at first glance as a colourful catfish species
but the subtle olive, silver and brown shades on the body gives
it a charm all of its own.
Nile, Niger, Senegal, Bénoué, and Volta
Rivers; also in Lake Chad. Type locality:
- close up of the wide mouth
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
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.
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 light brown.
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.
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.
Not reported as it would be difficult due
to the size of this species In its natural habitat spawning takes
place in the rainy season.
Feeds on crustaceans, insects, mollusks and
fish in its natural habitat so not fussy in the aquaria. Feed tablet,
pellet, live and frozen foods.
|Sexually mature males
alter body shape in as much as the head and mouth get noticeably
: The primary rayed
fin(s) on top of the body
Adipose fin :
Fleshy finlike projection without rays, ( this specis has)
behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Humeral process : Bony
extension of the pectoral girdle.
Standard Length (S.L.) : Standard length
as measured from the snout to the caudal peduncle.
the Greek, klarotes, a term for slaves, people with bent
necks; in reference to the morphology of the head.
: Broad head.
and R. Riehl 1991 Aquarien
atlas. Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 1104 p.
2008 The catfishes of Africa. A handbook for identification
and maintenance. Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604
Pimelodus laticeps, Bagrus laticeps, Bagrus nigrita, Octonematichthys
nigrita, Clarotes heuglinii, C. macrocephalus Chrysichthys macropogon, C.nigrita,
Nile, Niger, Senegal, Bénoué, and Volta Rivers;
also in Lake Chad. Type locality: Cairo (see
|80cm. (2ft. 8ins)
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