Schilbe mystus (Linnaeus, 1758)
African butter catfish
photo by Hippocampus-Bildarchiv

 Family:  Schilbeidae (Schilbid catfishes)
 Max. size:  35 cm SL (male/unsexed); max.weight: 250.0 g; max. reported age: 7 years
 Environment:  demersal; depth range 4 - 69 m, potamodromous
 Distribution:  Africa: Nilo-Sudanese species, known from Nile basin and in West Africa from Senegal River eastwards to Cross River, Wouri River and Sanaga River (Ref. 43912), including Chad basin (Ref. 43912). Reports from Ogowe River and Congo River basin are based on misidentifications (Ref. 43912).
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6-6; Anal soft rays: 45-64. Diagnosis: adipose fin present; anterior nostrils more closer to each other than posterior ones; inner margin of pectoral-fin spine strongly denticulate posteriorly; nasal barbel reaching to anterior eye margin, but never extending beyond hind margin of eye; mouth subterminal; 45-64 branched anal-fin rays and 9-14 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch (Ref. 57127). Coloration: ground colour generally silvery-white; head and back brownish, fins usually colourless (Ref. 57127).
 Biology:  Also caught with drawnets. Shoals in standing or slowly flowing open water with emergent or submerged vegetation. Generally more active at night or in subdued light. Feed from mid-water and surface waters on a wide variety of foods including fish, insects, shrimps, snails, plant seeds, and fruit. Oviparous, eggs are unguarded (Ref. 205). Breed during the rainy season and may be either a single or multiple spawner in different localities, laying eggs on vegetation. May live up to 6-7 years (Ref. 7248). Max total length 40.0mm (Ref. 3570).
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   
 

 Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 06.03.91
 Modified by: Boden, Gert - 19.01.17
 Checked by: Luna, Susan M. - 05.08.94

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