Central Africa: Auchenoglanis occidentalis is known from throughout the Congo River basin. It is also known from the Cross River in Cameroon.
Eastern Africa: This species is present in Lake Tanganyika and major affluent rivers, including Rusizi and Malagarasi, as well as Lakes Albert and Edward. It is found in the Blue and White Niles, Aswa river, Omo River, Lake Turkana and Giuba River.
Northern Africa: This species is now rare in This species is known from upper Egyptian Nile (Luxor and Aswan).
Northeast Africa: It is found in Setit in Eritrea and the Ghazal and jebel systems in Sudan. It is also known from Baro, Omo and Wabishebelle Rivers in Ethiopia.
Western Africa: This species is known from the Chad basin, the Niger, Senegal, and Gambia, where it is sympatric with Auchenoglanis biscutatus. Also occurs in the Volta basin, in Ivorian basins of the Comoe, Bandama and Sassandra, Casamance (Senegal), Géba and Corubal (Guinea), Jong and Moa (Sierra Leone) and in the River Cross. It has also been mentioned from the Ogun in Nigeria and from southern Ghana. It should be noted that this species has never been observed in large quantities in forested areas.
Habitat and Ecology
Diseases and Parasites
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Auchenoglanis occidentalis
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Auchenoglanis occidentalis
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 13
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Distribution and habitat
The giraffe catfish is found throughout Africa in lakes and rivers, partially due to introduction and establishment in other areas. It is found in many important lakes and rivers such as the Nile and Lake Chad. Its distribution covers includes bodies of water from East Africa to West Africa. It generally lives in shallow waters with muddy bottoms.
Anatomy and appearance
This fish has a maximum size that sources say are between two and three feet.
Eggs are scattered in a nest and guarded by the male. Dinotopterus cunningtoni takes advantage of the care and allows the male giraffe catfish to care for its eggs and young, an example of interspecific brood care.
Relationship to humans
The giraffe catfish is occasionally imported for the aquarium trade. Because of its large eventual size and its fast rate of growth, it is inappropriate for smaller aquaria. This fish will readily accept a variety of foods and is tolerant of a wide variety of water conditions. They will scavenge the aquarium looking for food, which could cause in the uprooting of plants.
This fish is also an important food fish in Africa.
- PlanetCatfish • Catfish of the Month • October 1999
- "Auchenoglanis occidentalis". FishBase. http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=2438&genusname=Auchenoglanis&speciesname=occidentalis. Retrieved 1 March 2007.
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