he validity of some nominal Parauchenoglanis
species is questionable, since they cannot readily
be distinguished from each other. This uncertainty
is primarily due to the often very short and vague
original descriptions of the oldest species, the often
very small and badly preserved type specimens, and,
of course, the incorrect redescription of P. guttatus
and of the whole genus (Boulenger, 1902b, 1911) (Geerinckx,
T., D. et al). The aquarist would need to know the
exact location of specimens aquired.
The Parauchenoglanisgeneraare similar to Auchenoglanis
the differences being that the former are smaller,
more elongate and have not got quite as deep a body.
The above specimen was captured just over the Angolan
border in Namibia at the Popa Game Park which lies
in the Namibian strip between Angola and Botswana.
The Okavango River lies in southwest Africa. It is
the fourth-longest river system in southern Africa,
running southeastward for 1,600 km. It begins at an
elevation of 1,300 metres in the sandy highlands of
Angola, where it is known by the Portuguese name of
with identification is the differences between adult
and juvenile markings
with the latter being more strongly
spotted or speckled as the image above shows. In 2004
Geerinckx et al. carried
out a revision of of the Parauchenoglanis
genus and it is probably
stated that there is not a single illustration that
is correctly identified in the aquarium and hobby
literature (Seegers L 2008). At
present (2022) there are nine species listed in the
(Holly, 1030), P.
(Boulenger, 1911), P.
(Sauvage, 1878), P.
(Popta, 1913), P.
(Keilhack, 1910), P. ngamensis
(Pellegrin, 1929), and
Okavango, upper Zambesi and Kasai River system.
Type locality: Okovango
its natural habitat favours rocky habitats or marginal
vegetation in slow-flowing rivers and lagoons, often
taking shelter under trees It has been
found in the tributaries of the Kasai River, as well
as in the upper Zambezi River basin and in the Okavango
Delta (Angola, Zambia, Botswana).
Okavango, upper Zambesi and Kasai River system. Type
locality: Okovango River.
Humeral process of cleithrum,
which is visible through the skin, bluntly triangular,
with its width at base nearly as great as its length,
with width being at least as great as orbital diameter.
In adult specimens its upper margin usually becomes
somewhat serrated. Head height greater than, rarely
as great as, preorbital head length. Barbels relatively
short, with external mandibular barbel never reaching
beyond tip of pectoral fin spine. Caudal peduncle
significantly higher than long, with minimal height
much greater than horizontal distance between bases
of adipose and caudal fins.
Varies considerably from bright
to virtually blackish brown. Purple hue occasionally
present. Belly brown to whitish. Zambezi and Okavango
specimens are characterized by five to seven vertical
rows of blackish spots on a background of lighter
spots all over body. Kasai specimens typically lack
background pattern, though intermediate forms may
Care & Compatibility
Grows quite large but not a
predator as such so should be safe to house with smaller
species. Best suited to the larger aquarium. Peaceful
large catfish which will do well in company of larger
characins from Africa and large Barbs.
Eggs are large
and relatively few, suggesting parental care, but
no details are known. 'Grunts' when taken out of the
In its natural habitat its
diet consists of small fishes and invertebrates like
snails, shrimps and insects. In the aquarium it will
eat a variety of foods. Tablet and pellet foods with
a good quality flake and frozen bloodworms. Also relishes
live worms such as the common garden worm, making
sure that there has been no weed killer on the premises,
and white worm.
Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the
rayed dorsal fin. Caudal fin: The tail. Caudal peduncle:The
narrow part of a fish's body to which the caudal or
tail fin is attached.
Cleithrum: The major bone of the
pectoral girdle, extending upward from the pectoral
fin base and forming the rear margin of the gill cavity,
also: the principal bow-shaped bone of the prectoral
girlde, dermal in origin, forming the rear margin
of the gill cavity. It articulates dorsally with the
supracleithrum and ventrally with the scapula and
coracoid. Humeral process: Bony extension of
the pectoral girdle. Pectoral fins:
The paired fins just behind the head.
Greek, para = near + Greek, auchen = neck + Greek,
glanis = a fish that can eat the bait without touching
the hook; a cat fish.
C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent
and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue
of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2021. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 02/2021 ). GBIF.org
Geerinckx, T., D. Adriaens, G.G. Teugels and W. Verraes,
2004. A systematic revision of the African catfish
genus Parauchenoglanis (Siluriformes: Claroteidae).
J. Nat. Hist. 38:775-803. Parauchenoglanis ngamensis
(Boulenger, 1911) by South African Institute for Aquatic
Biodiversity (licensed under creativecommons.org). Seegers, L., 2008. The catfishes
of Africa: A handbook for identification and maintenance.
Aqualog Verlag A.C.S. GmbH, Germany. 604 p. Skelton, P.H., 1993. A complete guide
to the freshwater fishes of southern Africa. Southern
Book Publishers. 388 p.