family Cranoglanididae from
China and Vietnam has not been covered before in our
Factsheets probably because of their rarity in the
hobby, but none the less this a very interesting family
to cover and hopefully an interest to all catfish
bouderius is a species of armorhead catfish found
in Kwangsi Province, China. It grows to a length of
43.0 cm SL and to 2.2 kilograms. It is considered
to be a fine food fish in the Zhujiang River Valley
bouderius was first described as Bagrus bouderius
in 1846 by John Richardson based on a Chinese watercolor
painting and later Wilhelm Peters later described
Cranoglanis along with a new species, Cranoglanis
In 1936 Otto Koller
described a new species, Pseudotropichthys multiradiatus
and in 1931 George Myers synonymized Pseudotropichthys
with Cranoglanis, as well as describing the
In 1955 the Indian
Ichthyologist K. C. Jayaram synonymized C.
multiradiata and C.
sinensis under C. bouderius, but more
recently, C. bouderius and C. multiradiata
have been treated as separate species. In the same
year Cranoglanis had been considered a monotypic
genus by some, with C. bouderius as the only
by Léon Vaillant in 1893, is often overlooked,
but is a valid species.
Strange but true
but the Cranoglanididae are closely related to the
North American family Ictaluridae. These two families
are sister taxa in the superfamily Ictaluroidea.
Distrbution: China, Kwangsi-Province
in China, Zhu-jiang River
Overexploitation. Illegal fishing using electric
shock devices, explosives and poison. The huge Longtan
Dam and numerous smaller dams, may have already
driven, and will continue to drive C. bouderius
In the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species it has a tag of Vunerable.
It was historically common in the valley of the
Zhu Jiang and especially in the Xi Jiang (rivers).
The population of the fish has markedly decreased
and it is estimated that the species has declined
by at least 50% in the last twenty years (K. Cui
and H. Zhou 2011). Overfishing has impacted the
species population, as well as agricultural pollution,
and dams. Research into populations trends, distribution,
and threats is needed. A research agency has captive-bred
the species for aquaculture (IUCN Red List).
Some work has already been done on the fish’s
habit, reproduction and breeding technology. Artificial
propagations has not been successful yet. Wild larvae
are raised in aquaculture (Yu and Shen 2005). An
annual fishing ban is in operation in the whole
Zhujiang River System (in place since 2007).
D II/5–6, A ii–iii/26–34,
P I/9–13, V i/10–11. Body elongateand
laterally compressed. Head dorsoventrally de-pressed,
bone on top of head naked or covered withthin membrane.
Snout blunt and projected. Teeth villiform. Four pairs
of barbels. Gill openings large. Scales absent. Lateral
line straight and complete. Swimbladder heart-shaped,
with three chambers (Chu et al. 1999).
Olive coloured body, gradually
become white starting from the stomach. All fins
Care & Compatibility
There is not much information
on the keeping of Cranoglanis species but
they are predators so would need to take this into
account if purchasing. Not seen very often in the
four years. Spawning in schools between late March
and late June, with an intense period in May. Spawning
in batches, water temperature 25–28°C. Build
nests by burrowing in substrate. Eggs laid and protected
in nest, eggs adhesive (Yuand Shen 2005).
Feeds on small fishes, shrimps,
aquatic insects, and invertebrates.
Anal Fin:The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin
that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish. Dorsal fin:The
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Gills: The organs utilized to obtain
oxygen from the water. Lateral line: A sensory line, along
the sides of the body. Monotypic: Having only one species,
such as a monotypic family of fishes. Swimbladder: The air sac that gives
fish buoyancy and balance. Acts as sound resonator
in some fish. Synonym: Different name for the same
fish. Ventral fins: The paired
fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins. Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Greek, kranion = skull + Greek, glanis = the name
of a kind of fish.
& Zhao, H.H. 2011. Cranoglanis bouderius.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009. FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,
Google Maps 2018. Nelson, J.S., 1994. Fishes of the
world. Third edition. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
New York. 600 p. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, March
22). Cranoglanis. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 12:49, December 20, 2018. Yang, Lei & Liu, Caixia & He, Shunping.
(2009). Threatened fishes of the world: Cranoglanis
bouderius (Richardson, 1846) (Cranoglanididae). Environmental
Biology of Fishes - ENVIRON BIOL FISH. 84. 157-158.
Zheng, C.-Y. 1990 Cranoglanididae.
p. 294-297. In J.-H. Pan, L. Zhong, C.-Y. Zheng, H.-L.
Wu and J.-H. Liu (eds). 1991. The freshwater fishes
of Guangdong Province. Guangdong Science and Technology
Press, Guangzhou. 589 p.