The Catfishes of Africa
A handbook for identification and maintenance
Dr. Lothar Seegers, English translation by Mary Bailey
English edition – 2008
The sucker-mouth and corydoras catfishes from South America dominate the catfish tanks in any pet fish store. Hundreds of varieties of these fish are available and many are familiar to even beginner aquarists. Other parts of the world are sorely under-represented with only a few Asian species routinely offered and (Synodontis excepted) almost nothing from Africa.
However the huge continent of Africa has much to offer the catfish fan and this book aims to throw some light on this fascinating group and at the same time promote them as a viable alternative.
Published by Aqualog this is a large book running to over 600 pages. Beautifully illustrated throughout with over 450 colour photographs, 370 line drawings and some 160 maps it is best treated as a reference book rather than as one to be read from cover to cover. There are chapters on catfish taxonomy, the history of African catfish and their discovery by science as well as a section on Catfish in the aquarium. The main part of the book deals with the fish by family and genera and there is a comprehensive bibliography and index which includes synonyms. A handy reference table of common names, German names and scientific names is interesting in its own right.
- Bagridae – naked catfishes
- Claroteidae – giraffe catfishes
- Austroglanididae – southern rock catfish
- Amphiliidae –
- Schilbeidae – glass catfishes
- Clariidae – the air-breathing or walking catfishes
- Malapteruridae – electric catfishes
- Mochokidae – upside down catfishes
- Anchariidae – Malagasy catfishes
- Ariidae – shark catfishes
- Plotosidae – eel-tail catfishes
The family Mochokidae includes the genus Synodontis and a large part of the book is given over to these fishes. Chapters on ecology, breeding and evolution are presented in what is effectively an in-depth book within a book.
Available from Amazon.
This isn’t a cheap book (expect to pay up to £90) but it is well worth 5 stars.