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Family MALAPTERURIDAE Electric Catfishes
2 genera · 19 species

Malapterurus Lacepède 1803    malakos, soft, pteron, fin; urus, tail; presumably referring to adipose fin, which appears all the more prominent in the absence of a rayed dorsal fin [subsequent authors have attempted to amend Lacepède’s clumsy spelling of the name (Malapterus, Malopterurus, Malacopterurus) but the original spelling prevails]

Malapterurus barbatus Norris 2002    bearded, referring to dusky underside of head

Malapterurus beninensis Murray 1855    ensis, suffix denoting place: Benin, presumably, Benin City, Nigeria, type locality

Malapterurus cavalliensis Roberts 2000    ensis, suffix denoting place: Cavally River, Ivory Coast, type locality

Malapterurus electricus (Gmelin 1789)    referring to its ability to produce an electric shock

Malapterurus leonensis Roberts 2000    ensis, suffix denoting place: Sierra Leone, type locality (also occurs in Guinea and Nigeria)

Malapterurus melanochir Norris 2002    melanos, black; cheir, hand, referring to dusky pectoral fins

Malapterurus microstoma Poll & Gosse 1969    micro-, small; stoma, mouth, referring to narrow mouth and snout

Malapterurus minjiriya Sagua 1987    Hausa word for this species, which fishers along the Niger River can easily distinguish from M. electricus

Malapterurus monsembeensis Roberts 2000    ensis, suffix denoting place: Monsembe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Malapterurus occidentalis Norris 2002    western, referring to its far west African distribution

Malapterurus oguensis Sauvage 1879    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ogôoué River at Duomé, Congo, type locality

Malapterurus punctatus Norris 2002    spotted, referring to finely spotted dorsum and flank

Malapterurus shirensis Roberts 2000    ensis, suffix denoting place: lower Shire River, Malawi, type locality

Malapterurus tanganyikaensis Roberts 2000    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Tanganyika basin, eastern Africa, where it is endemic

Malapterurus tanoensis Roberts 2000    ensis, Tano River basin, southwestern Ghana, type locality (also occurs in Ofin River basin)

Malapterurus teugelsi Norris 2002    in honor of Belgian ichthyologist Guy Teugels (1954-2003), curator of fishes, Musée Royale de l’Afrique Centrale, who collected type and made “important” contributions to our knowledge of west and central African fishes

Paradoxoglanis Norris 2002    paradoxos, strange or contrary to expectation, representing an “extraordinary and unexpected assemblage” of electric catfishes showing a number of unique features (three-chambered swim bladder, small body size, incomplete lateral line, and elongate adipose fin); glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Paradoxoglanis caudivittatus Norris 2002    cauda-, tail; vittatus, striped, referring to “strongly developed” saddle-and-bar pattern on tail

Paradoxoglanis cryptus Norris 2002    hidden or secret, referring to close superficial resemblance to P. parvus

Paradoxoglanis parvus Norris 2002    small, referring to “diminutive size of this and other Paradoxoglanis

Family MOCHOKIDAE Squeakers or Upside-down Catfishes
9 genera · 211 species


Atopochilus Sauvage 1879    atopos, strange; cheilos, lip, referring to unusual oral morphology (thick lips that form a large sucking disc)

Atopochilus chabanaudi Pellegrin 1938    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Paul Chabanaud (1876-1959), Preparator of Fishes, Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris)

Atopochilus christyi Boulenger 1920    in honor of Cuthbert Christy (1863-1932), explorer and naturalist for the Belgian government, who collected type

Atopochilus macrocephalus Boulenger 1906    macro-, long; cephalus, referring to longer head compared to A. savorgnani

Atopochilus mandevillei Poll 1959    in honor of J. Th. Mandeville, fisheries agent, government of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo), who collected some of the paratypes

Atopochilus pachychilus Pellegrin 1924    pachys, thick; cheilos, lips, referring to thick lips, which form an oral disc

Atopochilus savorgnani Sauvage 1879    in honor of Italian explorer Pietro Paolo Savorgnan di Brazzà (1852-1905), who explored the Ogooué River of Gabon (type locality); under French colonial rule, the capital of the Republic of the Congo was named Brazzaville after him and retained by post-colonial rulers

Atopochilus vogti Pellegrin 1922    in honor of monsignor Franz Xaver Vogt, Bagamoyo, German East Africa (now Tanzania), who sent type to the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris)

Atopodontus Friel & Vigliotta 2008    atopos, strange, anomalous or out of place; odontos, tooth, referring to unusual mandibular dentition (mandibular teeth arranged in three or more straight transverse rows)

Atopodontus adriaensi Friel & Vigliotta 2008    in honor of Dominique Adriaens, University of Ghent, who brought the existence of this species to the authors’ attention

Chiloglanis Peters 1868    cheilos, lip, referring to sucking disc formed by the lips, an adaptation to life in strong currents; glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Chiloglanis angolensis Poll 1967   –ensis, suffix denoting place: Angola, where it is endemic

Chiloglanis anoterus Crass 1960    higher, occurring at higher altitudes than other Natal species of Chiloglanis

Chiloglanis asymetricaudalis De Vos 1993    referring to its forked asymmetrical caudal fin, the upper lobe longer than the lower

Chiloglanis batesii Boulenger 1904    in honor of George Latimer Bates (1863-1940), Cameroon farmer and ornithologist who collected specimens for the Natural History Museum (London), including type of this species

Chiloglanis benuensis Daget & Stauch 1963    ensis, suffix denoting place: Bénoué at Lakdo, Cameroon, type locality

Chiloglanis bifurcus Jubb & Le Roux 1969    bifurcated or forked, referring to shape of caudal fin, “forked with large lobes”

Chiloglanis brevibarbis Boulenger 1902    brevis, short; barbis, barbel, referring to shorter barbels compared to C. deckenii and C. niloticus

Chiloglanis cameronensis Boulenger 1904    ensis, suffix denoting place: Cameroon, type locality (also occurs in Gabon and Republic of the Congo)

Chiloglanis carnosus Roberts & Stewart 1976    fleshy, presumably referring to general appearance of body

Chiloglanis congicus Boulenger 1920    icus, belonging to: the Congo Basin (Stanley Falls), type locality

Chiloglanis deckenii Peters 1868    in honor of Karl Klaus von der Decken (1833-1865), German explorer who collected type

Chiloglanis devosi Schmidt, Bart & Nyingi 2015    in honor of the late Luc DeVos (1957-2003), director of the Ichthyology Section at the National Museums of Kenya, who was instrumental in establishing its collection and building it into a regional and internationally invaluable collection, and who was partly responsible for discovering and recognizing this species and C. kerioensis as distinct

Chiloglanis disneyi Trewavas 1974    in honor of medical entomologist Ronald Henry Lambert Disney (b. 1938), who collected type

Chiloglanis elisabethianus Boulenger 1915    anus, belonging to: Élisabethville (now Lubumbashi), Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Chiloglanis emarginatus Jubb & Le Roux 1969    referring to emarginate (having a notched tip or edge) caudal fin, compared to deeply forked caudal fin of C. bifurcus

Chiloglanis fasciatus Pellegrin 1936    banded, referring to “traces” of five blackish bands on body

Chiloglanis harbinger Roberts 1989    Middle English word meaning omen or precursor, referring to large number of teeth Atopochilus and Euchilichthys, a condition presaged or foreshadowed in this species of Chiloglanis

Chiloglanis igamba Friel & Vigliotta 2011    named for Igamba Falls, Lower Malagarasi River, Tanzania, type locality

Chiloglanis kalambo Seegers 1996    referring to the Kalambo River drainage, western Tanzania, where it is endemic

Chiloglanis kazumbei Friel & Vigliotta 2011    in honor of George Kazumbe, an “expert fisherman and friend” from Kigoma, Tanzania, who assisted the authors and several of their colleagues during fieldwork in Tanzania

Chiloglanis kerioensis Schmidt, Bart & Nyingi 2015    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Kerio River, Lake Turkana basin, Kenya, where it is believed to be endemic

Chiloglanis lamottei Daget 1948    in honor of French biologist Maxime Lamotte (1920-2007), who collected type

Chiloglanis lufirae Poll 1976    of the Lufirae River system, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is endemic

Chiloglanis lukugae Poll 1944    of Lukuga, mistakenly referring to the Lukuga River drainage, the only outlet of Lake Tanganyika (type locality is Luvua River drainage, which Poll corrected in a later publication)

Chiloglanis macropterus Poll & Stewart 1975    macro-, large; pterus, fin, referring to its very large fins (“très grandes nageoires”)

Chiloglanis marlieri Poll 1952    in honor of Belgian zoologist Georges Marlier, Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles, who collected type

Chiloglanis mbozi Seegers 1996    referring to a stream draining the Mbozi block between Mbozi and Tunduma, Tanzania, type locality

Chiloglanis micropogon Poll 1952    micro-, small; pogon, beard, referring to short maxillary barbels, about as long as diameter of eye

Chiloglanis microps Matthes 1965    micro-, small, ops, eye, referring to its “miniscule” eyes

Chiloglanis modjensis Boulenger 1904    ensis, suffix denoting place: Modjo River, Ethiopia, type locality

Chiloglanis neumanni Boulenger 1911    in honor of German ornithologist Oscar Neumann (1867-1946), who collected type

Chiloglanis niger Roberts 1989    referring to both the Niger River basin of Cameroon, where it is endemic, and to the Latin word for black, referring to “uniformly dark, almost black” coloration in life

Chiloglanis niloticus Boulenger 1900    icus, belonging to: Nile River, referring to Arko Island, Sudan (type locality), an island on the Nile

Chiloglanis normani Pellegrin 1933    in honor of ichthyologist J. R. (John Roxborough) Norman (1898-1944), British Museum (Natural History), who described the similar C. polyodon in 1932

Chiloglanis occidentalis Pellegrin 1933    western, referring to its westernly distribution compared to congeners known at the time

Chiloglanis orthodontus Friel & Vigliotta 2011    orthos, straight or erect; odontos, tooth, referring to its mandibular dentition, which is relatively straight and evenly spread across dentary as compared to most congeners

Chiloglanis paratus Crass 1960    Latin for prepared or equipped, apparently a key word in the family motto of T. G. Fraser (Natal Parks, Game and Fish Preservation Board), “whose enthusiastic efforts have brought in much useful material”

Chiloglanis pojeri Poll 1944    in honor of Dr. G. Pojer (a Belgian scientist, no other information available), who collected type

Chiloglanis polyodon Norman 1932    poly, many; odon, tooth, presumably referring to number of teeth (85-90) in the lower jaw

Chiloglanis polypogon Roberts 1989    poly, many; pogon, beard, referring to its 3-5 auxiliary mental barbels on one or both sides of lower lip

Chiloglanis pretoriae van der Horst 1931    of Pretoria District, Transvaal (now Gauteng), South Africa, type locality

Chiloglanis productus Ng & Bailey 2006    lengthened or prolonged, referring to longer caudal fin in males

Chiloglanis reticulatus Roberts 1989    net-like or netted, referring to “reticulum or network” of well-developed tuberculated epidermal ridges on head and body of larger specimens

Chiloglanis rukwaensis Seegers 1996    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Rukwa drainage, Tanzania, where it is endemic

Chiloglanis ruziziensis De Vos 1993    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ruzizi River Basin, Rwanda, where it is endemic

Chiloglanis sanagaensis Roberts 1989    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Sanaga River basin, Cameroon, type locality

Chiloglanis sardinhai Ladiges & Voelker 1961    in honor of the authors’ sponsor and companion, forestry engineer Augusto Manuel Sardinha

Chiloglanis somereni Whitehead 1958    in honor of Dr. V. D. von Someren, M.B.E., Senior Research Officer, Ministry of Forest Development, Game and Fisheries, Nairobi, Kenya, where Whitehead was affiliated at the time

Chiloglanis swierstrai van der Horst 1931    patronym not identified, probably in honor of Cornelis Jacobus Swierstra (1874-1952), a Dutch-born South African entomologist

Chiloglanis trilobatus Seegers 1996    tri-, three; lobatus, lobed, referring to three lobes on caudal fin

Chiloglanis voltae Daget & Stauch 1963    of the Volta River system (Burkina Faso, Ghana), where it occurs (also occurs the upper Bénoué River system in Nigeria and Cameroon)

Euchilichthys Boulenger 1900    eu-, very and cheilos, lip, referring to their papillate, well-developed lips; ichthys, fish

Euchilichthys astatodon (Pellegrin 1928)    astatos, unstable; odon, tooth, referring to the variability of its teeth (a combination of uni- and bicuspid teeth)

Euchilichthys boulengeri Nichols & La Monte 1934    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist George A. Boulenger (1858-1937), who proposed the genus in 1900

Euchilichthys dybowskii (Vaillant 1892)    in honor of Jean Dybowski (1856-1928), French-Polish agronomist, naturalist and explorer, who collected type

Euchilichthys guentheri (Schilthuis 1891)    patronym not identified but clearly in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Albert Günther (1830-1914), British Museum (Natural History)

Euchilichthys royauxi Boulenger 1902    in honor of Capt. Louis Royaux, who led expedition that collected type and supplied indigenous names of the species collected


Acanthocleithron Nichols & Griscom 1917    acanthus, thorn; cleithrum, large bone that extends from base of pectoral fin and forms posterior edge of gill chamber, referring to spinous projection above base of pectoral spine

Acanthocleithron chapini Nichols & Griscom 1917    in honor of ornithologist James Paul Chapin (1889-1964), joint leader of the Lang-Chapin expedition to the Congo that collected type

Microsynodontis Boulenger 1903    micro-, small, referring to small size of M. batesii (10 cm TL), i.e., a small Synodontis (all other species are small, too)

Microsynodontis armatus Ng 2004    armed, referring to antrorse (distally directed) and retrorse (proximally directed) serrations on anterior edge of pectoral spine, unique to this species

Microsynodontis batesii Boulenger 1903    in honor of George Latimer Bates (1863-1940), Cameroon farmer and ornithologist who collected specimens for the Natural History Museum (London), including type of this species

Microsynodontis christyi Boulenger 1920    in honor of Cuthbert Christy (1863-1932), explorer and naturalist for the Belgian government, who collected type

Microsynodontis emarginata Ng 2004    notched at the apex, referring to distinctive emarginate shape of caudal fin

Microsynodontis hirsuta Ng 2004    hairy, referring to long tubercles on dorsal and lateral surfaces of head, giving it a “somewhat hairy appearance”

Microsynodontis laevigata Ng 2004    smooth, referring to smooth anterior edge of pectoral spine

Microsynodontis lamberti Poll & Gosse 1963    in honor of Poll’s frequent collaborator J. G. Lambert, “well-versed in many genera of African fishes” (translation)

Microsynodontis nannoculus Ng 2004    nanus, small; oculus, eye, referring to its relatively small eye, the smallest in the genus

Microsynodontis nasutus Ng 2004    large-nosed, referring to its snout, the longest in the genus

Microsynodontis notata Ng 2004    marked, referring to dark-brown elongate spots frequently present on body

Microsynodontis polli Lambert 1958    in honor of ichthyologist Max Poll (1908-1991), Curator, Musée de Congo Belge (Tervuren), whose help and advice guided the author in his early ichthyological work

Microsynodontis vigilis Ng 2004    watchful, referring to its relatively large eyes

Mochokiella Howes 1980    –iella, a diminutive, referring to dwarf size of M. paynei, i.e., a small mochokid

Mochokiella paynei Howes 1980    in honor of A. I. Payne, University of Sierra Leone, who collected type

Mochokus Joannis 1835    latinization of Mouchchouéké, Arabic name for M. niloticus, roughly translating as “don’t get stung or jabbed by it,” referring to its dangerously sharp spines, which local fishermen try to avoid

Mochokus brevis Boulenger 1906    short, referring to shorter caudal part of body compared to M. niloticus

Mochokus niloticus Joannis 1835    icus, belonging to: Nile River near Thebes, Egypt, type locality

Synodontis Cuvier 1816    according to Cuvier, an “ancient name for an undetermined fish from the Nile” (apparently not derived, as often reported, from syn-, together and odous, tooth, presumed etymology of the lizardfish genus Synodus)

Synodontis acanthomias Boulenger 1899    acanthus, thorn; omias, perhaps from the Greek omos, shoulder or humerus, referring to humeral process armed with spines (name may also refer to S. omias, to which this species had incorrectly been identified)

Synodontis acanthoperca Friel & Vigliotta 2006    acantha, thorn; opercul, cover or lid, referring to distinctive opercular spines developed by mature males

Synodontis afrofischeri Hilgendorf 1888    afro-, presumably referring to distribution in east Africa (type locality in Tanzania); fischeri, in honor of Gustav Adolf Fischer (1848-1888), medical officer and natural history collector, who collected type

Synodontis alberti Schilthuis 1891    patronym not identified, presumably in honor of King Albert I of Belgium (1875-1934); described from the Congo, which was a Belgian colony at the time

Synodontis albolineatus Pellegrin 1924    albus, white; lineatus, striped, referring to white midlateral stripe

Synodontis angelicus Schilthuis 1891    angelic, allusion not explained, presumably referring to its attractive color pattern (dark brown in spirits, with yellow spots over entire body, fins banded with yellow)

Synodontis annectens Boulenger 1911    linking or joining, believed to be intermediate in form between S. sorex and S. clarias

Synodontis ansorgii Boulenger 1911    in honor of explorer William John Ansorge (1850-1913), who collected type

Synodontis arnoulti Roman 1966    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Jacques Arnoult (1914-1995), Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), for help and encouragement in the exploration of wildlife in the Republic of Upper Volta

Synodontis aterrimus Poll & Roberts 1968    very black, referring to “noir profound” coloration on lower part of body, an example of inverse pigmentation in which ventral surface is darker than dorsal surface (a countershading adaptation to swimming upside-down at the water’s surface)

Synodontis bastiani Daget 1948    in honor of M. (probably Monsieur) Bastian (no other information available), who collected type

Synodontis batesii Boulenger 1907    in honor of George Latimer Bates (1863-1940), Cameroon farmer and ornithologist who collected specimens for the Natural History Museum (London), including type of this species

Synodontis batensoda Rüppell 1832    from Schal baten soda, local name for this catfish in Cairo, Egypt, meaning “the Schal [Arabian vernacular in Egypt for squeaker catfishes in general] with the black belly”

Synodontis brichardi Poll 1959    in honor of aquarium fish exporter Pierre Brichard (1921-1990), who discovered this catfish in the rapids near Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Synodontis budgetti Boulenger 1911    in honor of British zoologist John Samuel Budgett (1872-1904), who collected type

Synodontis camelopardalis Poll 1971    referring to its coloration, which resembles that of a giraffe, Giraffa camelopardalis

Synodontis carineae Vreven & Ibala Zamba 2011    in honor of anthropologist Carine Plancke, who worked with the Punu people in the Nyanga area of the Congo Republic (where this species occurs), and who especially likes the color yellow (referring to the vivid yellow shine of this species in life)

Synodontis caudalis Boulenger 1899    of the tail, referring to deeply notched caudal fin, both lobes produced into a long filament

Synodontis caudovittatus Boulenger 1901    caudo-, tail; vittatus, banded, referring to black stripe along outer margin of caudal-fin lobes

Synodontis centralis Poll 1971    referring to its distribution in the central Congo basin

Synodontis clarias (Linnaeus 1758)    meaning uncertain; name dates to Hasselquist (1757, edited by Linnaeus), who, according to Valenciennes (1840), may have selected clarias as the name for this Nile catfish because Belon (1553) used a similar name “Claria nilotica” for a different catfish from the Nile, now known as the clariid Clarias anguillaris (see entry for Clarias for more information on this etymologically puzzling name) [an alternative explanation is that clarias is derived from clarus, which usually means bright or clear but can also mean loud or clangorous, referring to the ability of this “squeaker” catfish to make stridulatory sounds through its pectoral fins when handled or disturbed; we doubt this explanation because Hasselquist did not mention this seemingly noteworthy attribute in his description]

Synodontis comoensis Daget & Lévêque 1981    ensis, suffix denoting place: Comoé River, National Park of Comoé, Ivory Coast, where it is endemic

Synodontis congicus Poll 1971    referring to its occurrence in the Congo River basin south to Katanga, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Synodontis contractus Vinciguerra 1928    compressed, referring to its elevated profile, which creates the appearance that its body has been compressed from both ends towards the middle

Synodontis courteti Pellegrin 1906    in honor of M. (probably Monsieur) Courtet, member of French 1902-1903 mission to study the region between Ubangi River and Lake Chad, during which type was collected

Synodontis cuangoanus Poll 1971    –anus, belonging to: Cuango, Cafunfo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Synodontis decorus Boulenger 1899    beautiful, referring to its attractive spotted color pattern

Synodontis dekimpei Paugy 1987    in honor of P. de Kimpe, Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale (Tervuren), who collected type

Synodontis depauwi Boulenger 1899    in honor of Louis De Pauw, curator of collections, l’Université libre de Bruxelles, who installed an exhibition of Congo fishes there in 1897

Synodontis dhonti Boulenger 1917    in honor of Dhont-De Bie, Belgian East African Expeditionary Force, who accompanied Louis Stappers of the Belgian government, who collected type

Synodontis dorsomaculatus Poll 1971    dorso-, back; maculatus, spotted, referring to dark round spots on dorsal surface (which grow diffuse with age)

Synodontis eupterus Boulenger 1901    eu-, well or very; pterus, fin, referring to “extraordinary development” of dorsal fin, “remarkable for its great depth”

Synodontis fascipinna Nichols & La Monte 1953    fascia, band; pinna, fin, referring to caudal and anal fins, “conspicuously banded with blackish”

Synodontis filamentosus Boulenger 1901    referring to “filamentous prolongation” of dorsal fin

Synodontis flavitaeniatus Boulenger 1919    flavus, yellow; taeniatus, banded, referring to two yellow stripes on each side of head and body

Synodontis frontosus Vaillant 1895    with a broad head, presumably referring length of cephalo-nuchal shield being nearly equal to its width

Synodontis fuelleborni Hilgendorf & Pappenheim 1903    in honor of Friedrich Fülleborn (1866-1933), who collected type during his travels as a parasitologist and military physician

Synodontis geledensis Günther 1896    ensis, suffix denoting place: Geledi (also spelled Gualidi and Jilledy), Somalia, type locality

Synodontis gobroni Daget 1954    in honor of M. (probably Monsieur) Gobron, a volunteer at Laboratoire de Diafarabé (Mail), who collected type

Synodontis grandiops Wright & Page 2006    grandis, large or big; ops, eye, referring to increased size of eye, particularly in relation to snout length

Synodontis granulosus Boulenger 1900    referring to body covered with granular papillae

Synodontis greshoffi Schilthuis 1891    in honor of Anton Greshoff (1856-1905), Dutch trader and collector, who presented several species from the Congo to the Zoological Museum of Utrecht University, including type of this species

Synodontis guttatus Günther 1865    spotted, referring to numerous brown spots on body, small and rounded on adipose fin and “hinder parts” of tail

Synodontis haugi Pellegrin 1906    in honor of Protestant missionary Ernest Haug (d. 1915), a correspondent of Múseum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), who collected type

Synodontis ilebrevis Wright & Page 2006    ile, intestine; brevis, short, referring to its relatively short gut

Synodontis irsacae Matthes 1959    of I.R.S.A.C. (Institut pour la Recherche Scientifique en Afrique Centrale), Matthes’ employer

Synodontis iturii Steindachner 1911    of the Ituri River, Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Synodontis katangae Poll 1971    of Katanga, a province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Synodontis khartoumensis Abu Gideiri 1967    ensis, suffix denoting place: Khartoum, Sudan, near type locality in the Blue Nile

Synodontis koensis Pellegrin 1933    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ko River, Man, Ivory Coast, type locality

Synodontis kogonensis Musschoot & Lalèyè 2008    ensis, suffix denoting place: Kogon River, Guinea, type locality (also occurs in Fatala River)

Synodontis laessoei Norman 1923    in honor of Major Harold Henry Alexander de Laessoe, who helped collect type

Synodontis leopardinus Pellegrin 1914    leopard-like, referring to small black spots on a yellowish body

Synodontis leopardus Pfeffer 1896    leopard, referring to dark-brown spots on brown body

Synodontis levequei Paugy 1987    in honor of ichthyologist Christian Lévêque, who collected type

Synodontis longirostris Boulenger 1902    longus, long; rostris, snout, referring to obtusely pointed snout, twice as long as postocular part of head

Synodontis longispinis Pellegrin 1930    longus, long; spinis, spine, described as a variety of S. batesii with a longer dorsal-fin spine

Synodontis lucipinnis Wright & Page 2006    luci-, bright or clear; pinnis, fin, referring to light patches at base of black triangles on rayed fins

Synodontis lufirae Poll 1971    of the Lufira River, Congo River basin, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it is endemic

Synodontis macrophthalmus Poll 1971    macro-, large; ophthalmus, eye, referring to its very large eyes compared to congeners in the Congo

Synodontis macrops Greenwood 1963    macro-, large; ops, eye, referring to larger eye compared to the similar S. schall

Synodontis macropunctatus Wright & Page 2008    macro-, large; punctatus, spotted, referring to large, discrete, widely spaced dark spots on skin

Synodontis macrostigma Boulenger 1911    macro-, large; stigma, spot or mark, referring to large round or oval blackish spots on back and sides

Synodontis macrostoma Skelton & White 1990    macro-, large; stoma, mouth, referring to its distinctive large mouth

Synodontis manni De Vos 2001    in honor of Mike Mann, former FAO Fisheries Officer, who first reported the presence of this species in the Tana River (Kenya) in 1968

Synodontis marmoratus Lönnberg 1895    marbled, referring to blackish-brown coloration, marbled with white, and white fins, marbled with black

Synodontis matthesi Poll 1971    in honor of Dutch ichthyologist Hubert Matthes, who collected type

Synodontis melanopterus Boulenger 1903    melano-, black; pterus, fin, referring to black fins, “with some light cross-bands in the young”

Synodontis melanostictus Boulenger 1906    melano-, black; stictus, spot, referring to small black-brown spots on body

Synodontis membranaceus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1809)    referring to membranes on maxillary and mandibular barbels

Synodontis multimaculatus Boulenger 1902    multi-, many; maculatus, spotted, referring to dark round spots on body, larger spots on dorsal fin, and smaller spots on ventral, anal and caudal fins

Synodontis multipunctatus Boulenger 1898    multi-, many; punctatus, spotted, referring to roundish dark-brown spots on body

Synodontis nebulosus Peters 1852    dark or cloudy, referring to black spots on body and fins, merging together on upper part of body

Synodontis ngouniensis De Weirdt, Vreven & Fermon 2008    ensis, suffix denoting place: Ngounié River basin, Gabon, type locality (also occurs in the Republic of Congo)

Synodontis nigrita Valenciennes 1840    Latin name for Niger, referring to type locality in Senegal, which in ancient times was called Niger

Synodontis nigriventris David 1936    nigra-, black; ventris, belly, referring to dark belly (instead of the usual lighter belly), a countershading adaptation to swimming upside-down at the water’s surface

Synodontis nigromaculatus Boulenger 1905    nigro-, black; maculatus, spotted, “covered all over with round black spots, some of which, on the posterior part of the body, are confluent”

Synodontis njassae Keilhack 1908    of Lake Nyasa (called Njassasee by European colonial rulers), Tanzanian name (meaning “great water”) for Lake Malawi, where it is endemic

Synodontis notatus Vaillant 1893    marked, referring to 1-4 blackish spots on sides

Synodontis nummifer Boulenger 1899    nummus, coin; fero, to bear, referring to 1-2 rounded (i.e., coin-like) black spots on the sides

Synodontis obesus Boulenger 1898    fat, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to less-elongate body shape compared to S. serratus, with which it had been misidentified

Synodontis ocellifer Boulenger 1900    ocellus, eye-spot; fero, to bear, referring to “large black-and-white ocellar spots disposed with greater or less regularity at considerable intervals”

Synodontis omias Günther 1864    etymology not explained, perhaps from the Greek omos, shoulder or humerus, referring to humeral process “armed with a series of three or four compressed, triangular spinous processos [sic], running along the lower margin of the bone, the last being placed at its extremity”

Synodontis orientalis Seegers 2008    eastern, referring to its distribution in eastern Africa

Synodontis ornatipinnis Boulenger 1899    ornatus, decorated; pinnis, fin, referring to yellow rayed fins (except pectoral), with black spots confluent into transverse bands; on the tail, these bands form crescents inverse to the shape of the fin

Synodontis ornatissimus Gosse 1982    very ornate or decorated, referring to its “striking” coloration (translation), with many black spots on body and dorsal fin and black bands on tail [replacement name for S. ornatus Boulenger 1920, preoccupied by S. ornatus Pappenheim 1914]

Synodontis ouemeensis Musschoot & Lalèyè 2008    ensis, suffix denoting place: Oueme River, Benin, type locality (also occurs in Nigeria and Togo)

Synodontis pardalis Boulenger 1908    like a leopard, referring to large, leopard-like dark-brown spots on body

Synodontis petricola Matthes 1959    petra, rock; –cola, living among, referring to its habitat over the rocks and boulders of Lake Tanganyika

Synodontis pleurops Boulenger 1897    pleuro-, side; ops, referring to laterally placed eyes, “visible from above as well as from below”

Synodontis polli Gosse 1982    in honor of Belgian ichthyologist Max Poll (1908-1991), for his revision of the genus [replacement name for S. eurystomus Matthes 1959, preoccupied by S. eurystomus Pfeffer 1889]

Synodontis polyodon Vaillant 1895    poly, many; odon, tooth, referring to greater number of mandibular teeth (~75) compared to S. schall (~25)

Synodontis polystigma Boulenger 1915    poly-, many; stigma, mark or spot, referring to numerous black spots on body and fins

Synodontis pulcher Poll 1971    beautiful, described as a pretty species (“une jolie espèce”)

Synodontis punctifer Daget 1965    punctum, spot; fero-, to carry or bear, referring to black spots irregularly scattered on sides and belly

Synodontis punctulatus Günther 1889    diminutive of punctum, spot, referring to numerous, very small brown dots on head, body and adipose fin

Synodontis punu Vreven & Milondo 2009    named for the Punu people living in the areas of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo where this catfish occurs, for their help during collecting and their “spontaneous” hospitality

Synodontis rebeli Holly 1926    patronym not identified, probably in honor of entomologist Hans Rebel (1861-1940), director of the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, where types are deposited

Synodontis resupinata Boulenger 1904    inverted or reversed, probably referring to reversed countershading, the lower half darker than the upper, an adaptation to swimming upside-down at the water’s surface

Synodontis ricardoae Seegers 1996    in honor of Cicely Kate Ricardo (later Ricardo-Bertram, 1912-1999), who, together with Ms. R. J. Owen, collected in the Lake Rukwa drainage (where this species occurs) and co-authored several important papers on the fishes of East and Central Africa

Synodontis robbianus Smith 1875    anus, belonging to: Rev. Alexander Robb, who provided specimens from the “Old Calavar district of tropical Africa,” including type of this one

Synodontis robertsi Poll 1974    in honor of ichthyologist Tyson R. Roberts (b. 1940), who helped collect type during a National Geographic Society expedition to Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1973

Synodontis ruandae Matthes 1959    of Rwanda, where type locality (Kagera at Rusumu) is situated

Synodontis rufigiensis Bailey 1968    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Rufiji River, Tanzania, type locality

Synodontis rukwaensis Hilgendorf & Pappenheim 1903    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Rukwa, Tanzania, type locality

Synodontis schall (Bloch & Schneider 1801)    Schal, Arabian vernacular for squeaker catfishes in Egypt

Synodontis schoutedeni David 1936    in honor of zoologist Henri Schouteden (1881-1972), who collected many new species in the Belgian Congo, including this one

Synodontis serpentis Whitehead 1962    snake, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to marbled pattern on caudal peduncle of juveniles (E. Schraml, pers. comm.), which resembles the marbled pattern seen on many constrictors

Synodontis serratus Rüppell 1829    serrate, referring to anteriorly serrated dorsal-fin spine

Synodontis smiti Boulenger 1902    in honor of Pierre Jacques Smit (1863-1960), who illustrated the plates in Boulenger’s work

Synodontis soloni Boulenger 1899    in memory of Alexandre Solon, a young traveler who died in Congo after helping Capt. Capra (no other information available) collect fish

Synodontis sorex Günther 1864    Latin for shrew or shrew-mouse, allusion not explained, perhaps referring to pointed snout and/or long, slender teeth

Synodontis steindachneri Boulenger 1913    in honor of Austrian ichthyologist Franz Steindachner (1834-1919), for contributions to our knowledge of the fishes of Cameroon (where this species is endemic)

Synodontis tanganyicae Borodin 1936    of Lake Tanganyika, where it is endemic (also spelled tanganaicae)

Synodontis tessmanni Pappenheim 1911    in honor of German explorer, ethnographer and plant collector Günter Tessmann (1884-1969), who collected type

Synodontis thamalakanensis Fowler 1935    ensis, suffix denoting place: Thamalakane River at Maun, Botswana, type locality

Synodontis thysi Poll 1971    in honor of Poll’s Musée de l’Afrique Centrale colleague, Dirk Thys van den Audenaerde (b. 1934), who collected type

Synodontis tourei Daget 1962    in honor of Moussa Touré, forestry inspector in Mamou, a city in the Fouta Djallon area of Guinea, where it occurs

Synodontis unicolor Boulenger 1915    uni-, one, referring to uniform dark-brown coloration on body and fins

Synodontis vanderwaali Skelton & White 1990    in honor of zoologist Ben Van der Waal, University of Venda (South Africa), who collected type, for his donations of fishes from northern Namibian rivers to the J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology and the Albany Museum

Synodontis velifer Norman 1935    velum, sail; fero, to bear, referring to prolonged first and second soft rays of dorsal fin

Synodontis vermiculatus Daget 1954    referring to small black vermiculations on a completely yellow body

Synodontis victoriae Boulenger 1906    of Lake Victoria in Uganda, type locality

Synodontis violaceus Pellegrin 1919    violet-colored, referring to its general violet body coloration

Synodontis voltae Roman 1975    of the upper Volta River basin, western Africa, where it is endemic

Synodontis waterloti Daget 1962    in honor of Georges Waterlot, who collected specimens for the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris) in French West Africa, including type of this one

Synodontis woleuensis Friel & Sullivan 2008    ensis, suffix denoting place: Woleu River, Gabon, type locality

Synodontis woosnami Boulenger 1911    in honor of Richard Bowen Woosnam (1880-1915), British soldier, traveler, naturalist, and Game Warden of the British East African Protectorate, who collected type

Synodontis xiphias Günther 1864    sword, referring to remarkably prolonged snout of stuffed and mounted type specimen (later discovered through X-ray photography to be skin stretched over a protruding wire)

Synodontis zambezensis Peters 1852    ensis, suffix denoting place: Zambezi River, Mozambique, type locality

Synodontis zanzibaricus Peters 1868    icus, belonging to: Zanzibar, a possible misnomer since the catfish does not occur there; perhaps name refers to general vicinity of type locality (Mombassa, Kenya) to the Zanzibar Archipelago

Family SCHILBEIDAE African Butter Catfishes
3 genera · 33 species                                                         

Irvineia Trewavas 1943    ia, belonging to: Dr. F. R. Irvine, former biology master at Achimota College, Gold Coast (now Ghana), who presented local fishes to the British Museum (Natural History), including type of I. voltae

Irvineia orientalis Trewavas 1964    eastern, referring to its East African distribution compared to the West African I. voltae

Irvineia voltae Trewavas 1943    of the Volta River, Ghana, type locality

Parailia Boulenger 1899    para-, near, referring to similarity to Ailia (now in Ailiidae), from which it differs in the absence of vomerine teeth and adipose fin

Parailia congica Boulenger 1899    ica, belonging to: Congo River basin, central Africa, type locality

Parailia occidentalis (Pellegrin 1901)    western, referring to Cap Lopez, Gabon, west coast of Africa (type locality)

Parailia pellucida (Boulenger 1901)    translucent, referring to colorless, almost translucent body in life

Parailia somalensis (Vinciguerra 1897)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Somalia, where type locality (Ganana River) is situated

Parailia spiniserrata Svensson 1933    spinus, spine; serrata, toothed like a saw, referring to pectoral fin “rather strongly serrated in its inner side”

Pareutropius Regan 1920    para-, near, similar to Eutropius but with smaller dorsal fin consisting of a slender spine and three branched rays

Pareutropius buffei (Gras 1961)    in honor of M. (Monsieur) Buffe, Director, Eaux et Forêts (Waters and Forests) Service, Dahomey (now Benin), “who witnessed the discovery” of this species (translation)

Pareutropius debauwi (Boulenger 1900)    in honor of Lieut. G. De Bauw (probably a Belgian Army officer), who collected type

Pareutropius longifilis (Steindachner 1914)    longus, long; filum, filament, referring to thin but long barbels

Pareutropius mandevillei Poll 1959    in honor of J. Th. Mandeville, fisheries agent, government of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo), who collected type

Schilbe Oken 1817    latinization of “Les Schilbé” used by Cuvier in 1816, based on a local name for S. mystus along the Nile River

Schilbe angolensis (De Vos 1984)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Angola, where it is endemic

Schilbe banguelensis (Boulenger 1911)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Bangwelu, Zambia, type locality

Schilbe bocagii (Guimarães 1884)    in honor of José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage (1823-1907), curator of zoology, Museum of Natural History (Lisbon, Portugal), as a “public testimony of our esteem and recognition” (translation)

Schilbe brevianalis (Pellegrin 1929)    brevis, short; analis, anal, referring to short anal fin and low number of anal-fin rays

Schilbe congensis (Leach 1818)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Congo River, central Africa, type locality (also endemic to Congo River system)

Schilbe djeremi (Thys van den Audenaerde & De Vos 1982)    of the Djerem River, Sanaga River basin, Cameroon, type locality

Schilbe durinii (Gianferrari 1932)    in honor of the Countess Durini (no other information available), who collected type

Schilbe grenfelli (Boulenger 1900)in honor of Protestant missionary and explorer George Grenfell (1849-1906), who c    ollected type

Schilbe intermedius Rüppell 1832   intermediate in certain characters between S. uranoscopus and Siluranodon auritus (then placed in Schilbe)

Schilbe laticeps (Boulenger 1899)   latus, broad; ceps, head, referring to its large and broad head, wider than head of S. congensis

Schilbe mandibularis (Günther 1867)    etymology not explained, possibly referring to rather well-developed outer mandibular barbels, “not extending to the base of the pectoral, but beyond the orbit”

Schilbe marmoratus Boulenger 1911    marbled, referring to irregularly marbled color pattern

Schilbe micropogon (Trewavas 1943)    micro-, small; pogon, beard, referring to short (sometimes rudimentary) barbels

Schilbe moebiusii (Pfeffer 1896)    in honor of German zoologist Karl August Möbius (1825-1908), who edited publication in which description appeared

Schilbe multitaeniatus (Pellegrin 1913)    multi-, many; taeniatus, banded, referring to lateral stripes on sides and along anal fin

Schilbe mystus (Linnaeus 1758)    latinization of Greek mystax, whiskered, dating back to at least Belon’s De Aquatilibus (1553) to describe all fishes with whiskers, presumably used here in reference to its four pairs of barbels

Schilbe nyongensis (De Vos 1981)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Nyong River, Cameroon, where it is endemic

Schilbe tumbanus (Pellegrin 1926)    –anus, belonging to: Tumba Lake, Tondu, Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Schilbe uranoscopus Rüppell 1832    urano, sky; scopus, watcher, referring to supero-lateral position of the eyes

Schilbe yangambianus (Poll 1954)    anus, belonging to: Yangambi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, type locality

Schilbe zairensis De Vos 1995    ensis, suffix denoting place: Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo), type locality

Siluranodon Bleeker 1858    Silurus, referring to previous placement of S. auritus in that genus; ano-, without and odon, tooth, referring to what Bleeker mistakenly believed was a lack of teeth (teeth are very reduced; those on upper jaw tend to be lost due to damage, while those on lower jaw are overgrown by surrounding bone)

Siluranodon auritus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1809)    eared, from the local Arabian name Wadi Denne (“provided with ears”), referring to large, rounded pectoral fins just behind head, which resemble two big ears

Family AUCHENOGLANIDIDAE Giraffe Catfishes
3 genera · 26 species

Auchenoglanis Günther 1865    replacement name for Auchenaspis Bleeker 1858 (preoccupied in fossil fishes), auchenos, neck and aspis, shield, referring to broad nuchal shield; glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Auchenoglanis acuticeps Pappenheim 1914    acutus, pointed; ceps, head, referring to “long and pointed” snout (translation)

Auchenoglanis biscutatus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1809)    bi-, two; scutatus, shielded, referring to nuchal shield divided into two parts

Auchenoglanis occidentalis (Valenciennes 1840)    western, referring to its distribution (described from Senegal) compared to the similar A. biscutatus of Egypt

Auchenoglanis sacchii (Vinciguerra 1898)    in memory of Italian geographer and explorer Maurizio Sacchi (1864-1897), who led expedition that collected type, and who was killed by Abyssinians on the shores of Lake Regina Margherita in Ethiopia

Auchenoglanis senegali Retzer 2010    of Senegal, type locality (also occurs in Gambia)

Auchenoglanis tanganicanus Boulenger 1906    icus, belonging to: Lake Tanganyika, type locality

Auchenoglanis tchadiensis Pellegrin 1909    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Chad, Chad, type locality (also occurs in Cameroon and Central African Republic)

Auchenoglanis wittei Giltay 1930    in honor of herpetologist Gaston François De Witte (1897-1980), in charge of the ichthyological and herpetological collections at the Musée du Congo Belge (Tervuren, Belgium)

Notoglanidium Günther 1903    notos, back, presumably referring to “rather long” dorsal fin of N. walkeri; glanidium, diminutive of glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Notoglanidium akiri (Risch 1987)    in honor of Mrs. P. J. Akiri (Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria), ichthyologist, who collected type

Notoglanidium boutchangai (Thys van den Audenaerde 1965)    in honor of Honoré Boutchanga, technical assistant, Eaux et Forêts (Waters and Forests), Gabon, who collected type

Notoglanidium depierrei (Daget 1980)    in honor of Daniel Depierre, National Superior School of Agronomy (Yaoundé, Cameroon), who collected type

Notoglanidium macrostoma (Pellegrin 1909)    macro-, long; stoma, mouth, its width 2/3 that of head

Notoglanidium maculatum (Boulenger 1916)    spotted, referring to numerous dark-brown rounded spots on body and fins

Notoglanidium pallidum Roberts & Stewart 1976    pallid, referring to its coloration

Notoglanidium pembetadi Vreven, Zamba, Mamonekene & Geerinckx 2013    local Kunyi name for this catfish, from tadi, stone, referring to rock-and-pebble habitat, and pembe, meaning unclear; authors selected name to “acknowledge that many of the new species discovered are already well known by the local inhabitants, and to express gratitude to the many children and fishermen who helped to collect the type series”

Notoglanidium thomasi Boulenger 1916    in honor of anthropologist Northcote W. Thomas, who collected type

Notoglanidium walkeri Günther 1903    in honor of Robert Bruce Napoleon Walker (1832-1901), trader and explorer, Royal Geographical Society, who collected type (but who “did not long survive the fatigues of this, his last, voyage”)

Parauchenoglanis Boulenger 1911    para-, near, referring to similarity and/or close relationship with Auchenoglanis

Parauchenoglanis ahli (Holly 1930)    in honor of ichthyologist-herpetologist Ernst Ahl (1898-1945), who helped Holly study cyprinodontiform fishes collected in Cameroon

Parauchenoglanis altipinnis (Boulenger 1911)    altus, high; pinnis, fin, referring to elevated dorsal fin

Parauchenoglanis balayi (Sauvage 1879)    in honor of explorer Noel Eugene Balay, who collected type

Parauchenoglanis buettikoferi (Popta 1913)    in honor of Swiss zoologist Johann Büttikofer (1850-1927), Director, Zoological Garden in Rotterdam, who presented type to the Leyden Museum

Parauchenoglanis longiceps (Boulenger 1913)    longus, long; ceps, head, referring to longer, narrower head compared to P. balayi

Parauchenoglanis monkei (Keilhack 1910)    in honor of Dr. H. Monke (no other information available), who collected type

Parauchenoglanis ngamensis (Boulenger 1911)    ensis, suffix denoting place: Lake Ngami district (i.e., area), Botswana, type locality

Parauchenoglanis pantherinus (Pellegrin 1929)     panther-like, referring to spotted body and fins (often dark spots on a white, pink or yellow body)

Parauchenoglanis punctatus (Boulenger 1902)    spotted, referring to vertical series of black dots that accompany seven indistinct darker bars on body and/or transverse series of dark spots on dorsal and caudal fins

Family CLAROTEIDAE Grunter Catfishes
12 genera/subgenera · 65 species

Amarginops Nichols & Griscom 1917    a-, without; marginis, edge or border; ops, eye, referring to lack of free orbital margin

Amarginops hildae (Bell-Cross 1973)    in honor of Hilda Jubb, Albany Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa (wife of ichthyologist Rex A. Jubb), “whose excellent fish illustrations of Southern African freshwater fishes [including type of this species] have been admired by all”

Amarginops platus Nichols & Griscom 1917    flat, referring to “depressed, almost flat” head

Bathybagrus Bailey & Stewart 1984    bathys, deep, referring to “profundal habitat” of B. tetranema; bagrus, a bagrid catfish (originally placed in Bagridae)

Bathybagrus tetranema Bailey & Stewart 1984    tetra, four; nema, thread, referring to barbels, which are reduced to four slender filaments

Chrysichthys Bleeker 1858    chrysos, gold, referring to golden-yellow head and/or specific name of C. auratus (=golden); ichthys, fish

Subgenus Chrysichthys

Chrysichthys acsiorum Hardman 2008    orum, commemorative suffix, plural: honoring those engaged in achieving the goals of the All Catfish Species Inventory (ACSI)

Chrysichthys ansorgii Boulenger 1910    in honor of explorer William John Ansorge (1850-1913), who collected type

Chrysichthys auratus (Geoffroy St. Hilaire 1809)    golden, referring to golden-yellow head (at least on the specimens that Geoffroy St. Hilaire examined)

Chrysichthys bocagii Boulenger 1910    in memory of the late José Vicente Barbosa du Bocage (1823-1907), curator of zoology at the Museum of Natural History in Lisbon, “who so largely contributed to our knowledge” of the zoology of Angola (where this species is endemic)

Chrysichthys brachynema Boulenger 1900    brachys, short; nema, thread, referring to “nasal barbel not or but scarcely longer than diameter of eye”

Chrysichthys cranchii (Leach 1818)    in honor of English naturalist and explorer John Cranch (1785-1816), who collected type

Chrysichthys delhezi Boulenger 1899    in honor of the late Paul Delhez, who collected type (and whose collections and field observations were useful in the preparation of Boulenger’s book on Congo fishes)

Chrysichthys duttoni Boulenger 1905    in honor of the “regretted” Joseph Everett Dutton (1874-1905), British parasitologist, co-leader of the Dutton-Todd expedition to the Congo that collected type [he died there after contracting tick fever from performing autopsies while investigating that disease]

Chrysichthys furcatus Günther 1864    forked, referring to large, “deeply forked” caudal fin

Chrysichthys grandis Boulenger 1917    large, referring to its size (described at 57 cm TL, one of the larger members of the genus, known to reach 63 cm and 4 kg)

Chrysichthys graueri Steindachner 1911    in honor of Austrian explorer and zoologist Rudolf Grauer (1870-1927), who collected type

Chrysichthys habereri Steindachner 1912    in honor of German physician, anthropologist and natural history collector Karl Albert Haberer, who collected type

Chrysichthys helicophagus Roberts & Stewart 1976    helix, snail; phago, eating or devouring, referring to its diet

Chrysichthys johnelsi Daget 1959    in honor of zoologist Alf G. Johnels (1916-2010), Swedish Museum of Natural History, who observed and reported the first specimens in 1954

Chrysichthys laticeps Pellegrin 1932    latus, wide; ceps, head, “remarkable for the size and breadth of its head” (translation)

Chrysichthys levequei Risch 1988    in honor of ichthyologist Christian Lévêque, ORSTOM (Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique d’Outre-Mer), who collected type

Chrysichthys mabusi Boulenger 1905    local name for this catfish at Lake Bangwelo, Zambia, type locality

Chrysichthys macropterus Boulenger 1920    macro-, long or large; pterus, fin, referring to elevated dorsal fin

Chrysichthys maurus (Valenciennes 1840)    dark, referring to dark-brown to blackish coloration and/or almost black-brown fins

Chrysichthys okae Fowler 1949    of Oka, 18 miles north of Eovo, Congo system, French Equatorial Africa, type locality

Chrysichthys ornatus Boulenger 1902    decorated, referring to blackish spots and bands on body (more pronounced on juveniles, fainter on adults) and mottled blackish fins

Chrysichthys persimilis Günther 1899    per-, very; similis, similar, described as “extremely similar” to the type of C. furcatus

Chrysichthys platycephalus Worthington & Ricardo 1937    platy, flat; cephalus, head, referring to broader, more flattened head compared to the similar C. graueri

Chrysichthys polli Risch 1987    in honor of ichthyologist Max Poll (1908-1991), former head of the Vertebrate section of the Tervuren Museum

Chrysichthys praecox Hardman & Stiassny 2008    early ripening or precocious, referring to small size at maturity (31.7-62.5 mm SL)

Chrysichthys punctatus Boulenger 1899    spotted, referring to a few black spots on the sides

Chrysichthys rueppelli Boulenger 1907    in honor of explorer-naturalist Eduard Rüppell (1794-1884), whose collection of Nile fishes provided some of the type material

Chrysichthys sharpii Boulenger 1901    in honor of British planter, hunter and colonial administrator in central Africa, Alfred Sharpe (1853-1935), who presented type to the British Museum (Natural History)

Chrysichthys sianenna Boulenger 1906    local name for this catfish at Lake Tanganyika, where it is endemic

Chrysichthys stappersii Boulenger 1917    in honor of the late Louis Stappers of the Belgian government, who collected type

Chrysichthys teugelsi Risch 1987    in honor of ichthyologist Guy G. Teugels (1954-2003), Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), who helped collect type

Chrysichthys thonneri Steindachner 1912    in honor of Austrian botanist Franz Thonner (1863–1928), who collected type

Chrysichthys turkana Hardman 2008    ana, belonging to: Lake Turkana, Kenya, type locality, and the Turkana people, the predominant tribe in that area

Chrysichthys uniformis Pellegrin 1922    referring to uniformly dark gray color above and yellowish below

Chrysichthys wagenaari Boulenger 1899    in honor of Lieut. Wagenaar (no other information available, probably a Dutch army officer), who collected Upper Congo fishes for Boulenger, including presumably the type of this one

Chrysichthys walkeri Günther 1899    in honor of Robert Bruce Napoleon Walker (1832-1901), trader and explorer, Royal Geographical Society, who collected type

Subgenus Chrysobagrus Boulenger 1899    chryso-, referring to close similarity with Chrysichthys; bagrus, a bagrid catfish (originally placed in Bagridae)

Chrysichthys brevibarbis (Boulenger 1899)    brevis, short; barbis, barbel, referring to short nasal (<½ diameter of eye), maxillary (slightly longer than head) and outer mandibular (1½ times as long as inner mandibular) barbels

Chrysichthys longibarbis (Boulenger 1899)    longus, long; barbis, barbel, referring to outer pair of maxillary barbels, which measure more than three times length of head and extend well past origin of anal fin

Chrysichthys longidorsalis Risch & Thys van den Audenaerde 1981    longus, long; dorsalis, dorsal, referring to long dorsal fin, reaching to at least  adipose fin when folded [replacement name for Gephyroglanis velifer Thys van den Audenaerde 1965, preoccupied in Chrysichthys by C. velifer (=maurus) Norman 1923]

Chrysichthys longipinnis (Boulenger 1899    )longus, long; pinnis, fin, probably referring to long anal fin (with 13-14 rays)

Chrysichthys nyongensis Risch & Thys van den Audenaerde 1985    ensis, suffix denoting place: Nyong River, Cameroon, where it is endemic

Subgenus Melanodactylus Bleeker 1858    melano-, black; daktylos, finger, referring to dark-edged fins of type species, Arius acutivelis (=C. nigrodigitatus)

Chrysichthys dageti Risch 1992    in honor of Jacques Daget (1919-2009), Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (Paris), for his contributions to African ichthyology

Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus (Lacepède 1803)    nigro-, black; digitatus, having fingers, referring to dark-edged fins

Chrysichthys ogooensis (Pellegrin 1900)    –ensis, suffix denoting place: Ogooué River at Adouma, Gabon, type locality

Subgenus Rheoglanis Poll 1966    rheos, current or stream, referring to C. dendrophilus, which is adapted to life under stones of rocky bottoms of rapids; glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Chrysichthys aluuensis Risch 1985    ensis, suffix denoting place: Omeuhuechi-Aluu, Ribers State, Nigeria, type locality

Chrysichthys dendrophorus (Poll 1966)    dendro-, tree or branch; phorus, to bear, referring to branched or tree-like arrangement of sensory channels on head

Chrysichthys thysi Risch 1985    in honor of ichthyologist Dirk Thys van den Audenaerde (b. 1934), who collected type

Clarotes Kner 1855    named after the ancient Greek Klaroten, a term for slaves (i.e., “people with bent necks” [translation], according to Kner), referring to sharp downward-sloping angle of head

Clarotes bidorsalis Pellegrin 1938    bi-, two; dorsalis, dorsal, referring to spine in adipose fin of adults (apparently bigger or more pronounced than adipose fin on C. laticeps), giving the impression that it has two dorsal fins

Clarotes laticeps (Rüppell 1829)    latus, wide; ceps, head, referring to wide, depressed head

Clarotes macrocephalus Daget 1954    macro-, large; cephalus, head, referring to larger head compared to C. laticeps

Gephyroglanis Boulenger 1899    gephyra, bridge, presumably reflecting Boulenger’s belief that it is a transitional or intermediate genus between Chrysobagrus (now a subgenus of Chrysichthys) and Pimelodus; glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Gephyroglanis congicus Boulenger 1899    –icus, belonging to: upper Congo River at Upoto, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Gephyroglanis gymnorhynchus Pappenheim 1914    gymnos, bare or naked; rhynchus, snout, referring to lack of nasal barbels

Gephyroglanis habereri Steindachner 1912    in honor of German physician, anthropologist and natural history collector Karl Albert Haberer, who collected type

Gnathobagrus Nichols & Griscom 1917    gnathus, jaw; referring to strongly projecting lower jaw; bagrus, a bagrid catfish (originally placed in Bagridae)

Gnathobagrus depressus Nichols & Griscom 1917    referring to “remarkably” and “strongly” depressed head

Lophiobagrus Poll 1942    lophio, similar in appearance to the Monkfish, Lophius piscatorius (Lophiiformes: Lophiidae); bagrus, a bagrid catfish (originally placed in Bagridae)

Lophiobagrus aquilus Bailey & Stewart 1984    blackish, referring to dark-colored body

Lophiobagrus asperispinis Bailey & Stewart 1984    asper, rough or pungent; spinis, thorn, referring to stronger serrae on pectoral spine compared to congeners

Lophiobagrus brevispinis Bailey & Stewart 1984    brevis, short; spinis, thorn, referring to “short and weakly armed” dorsal and pectoral spines

Lophiobagrus cyclurus (Worthington & Ricardo 1937)    cyclo-, circle; urus, tail, referring to rounded caudal fin

Pardiglanis Poll, Lanza & Romoli Sassi 1972    Pardi, named for ethologist Leo Pardi (1915-1990), director, Center for the Study of Tropical Wildlife and Ecology, University of Florence, which sponsored expedition to Somalia that collected type; glanis, sheatfish (Silurus glanis), now used as a general term for catfish

Pardiglanis tarabinii Poll, Lanza & Romoli Sassi 1972    in honor of Giovanni Tarabini Castellani (1910-1992), director of the leprosarium at Gelib, Somalia, who provided type specimen, which was caught by a local fisherman

Phyllonemus Boulenger 1906    phyllon, leaf; nemus, thread, referring to leaf-like membrane at tips of maxillary barbels of P. typus

Phyllonemus brichardi Risch 1987    in honor of aquarium-fish exporter Pierre Brichard (1921-1990), who collected type

Phyllonemus filinemus Worthington & Ricardo 1937    etymology not explained, presumably fili-, filamentous and nemus, thread, both referring to long maxillary barbels, flattened and flanged at the tips

Phyllonemus typus Boulenger 1906    serving as type of genus

Family LACANTUNIIDAE Chiapas Catfish

Lacantunia Rodiles-Hernández, Hendrickson & Lundberg 2005    ia, belonging to: Río Lacantún, Chiapas, México, type locality

Lacantunia enigmatica Rodiles-Hernández, Hendrickson & Lundberg 2005    baffling or inexplicable, referring to its unexpected discovery and obscure relationships and origin