Schilbe intermedius Rüppell, 1832
Silver catfish
Schilbe intermedius
photo by Seegers, L.

 Family:  Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
 Max. size:  50 cm SL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  pelagic; depth range 0 - 60 m, potamodromous
 Distribution:  Africa: Senegal, Gambia, Casamance, Corubal, Geba, Little Scarcies, Sassandra, Boubo, Bandama, Agnébi, Mé, Comoé, Tano, Pra, Volta basin, Mono, Sio, Ouémé, Ogun, entire Niger and Chad basins, Cross, Wouri and Sanaga; absent between Little Scarcies and Sassandra; further in the entire Congo River basin, Malagarasi, Luiche, Cunene, Okavango, entire Zambezi including the Kafue system, Lake Kariba, Nile, Lake Victoria basin, Webi Shebeli, Wando, Tana, Galana, Athi, Wami, Rufiji-Ruaha, Lake Rukwa, lower Sabi-Lundi, Shire below Murchison Falls, Lake Chilwa, Ruvu, Pungwe, Limpopo, Incomati and Pongola (Ref. 43912).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1-1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 5-6; Anal soft rays: 41-66. Diagnosis: 8-13 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch; 41-66 branched anal-fin rays; eyes positioned laterally (Ref. 57127). In West Africa, this species usually lacks an adipose fin, but specimens with a rudimentary adipose fin may be occasionally present (Ref. 57127). Description: anal fin long, extending from vent almost to origin of caudal fin; 4 pairs of short, circum-oral barbels (Ref. 34290). Coloration: live young individuals (to about 150 mm SL) with a peculiar colour pattern: head and back dark brown, with two brownish or blackish bands on sides, one along lateral line, other above anal-fin base; this colour pattern disappears with growth: head and back remain dark brown, but the lateral bands fade progressively and the sides become more or less whitish or silvery (Ref. 57127). Preserved specimens: silvery colour of the body disappears almost completely (Ref. 57127).
 Biology:  Reported to be a pelagic species (Ref. 34290). Occur mainly on shallow waters. Migrate to the surface at night (Ref. 34291). Feed on a wide range of invertebrates including terrestrial insects and whole or pieces of fish (Ref. 28714). Primarily piscivorous at 13-34 cm TL (Ref. 34291). Rarely grow to lengths greater than 30 cm SL (Ref. 34290). Spawn throughout the year peaking once (Ref. 34291). Migrate into rivers in fairly compact schools during the rainy season to spawn in floodwater pools (Ref. 34291). Oviparous, eggs are unguarded (Ref. 205). Max. total length 60.5cm (Ref. 52331).
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   
 

 Entered by: Sa-a, Pascualita - 21.03.95
 Modified by: Musschoot, Tobias - 23.09.14

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