Catfish are now becoming more preferred to other types of fish. Virtually every family in Africa eats catfish not just because of its taste but because it is rich in protein and a good source of Omega3. However, not every catfish is tasty like the others. Therefore, there is a need to know how to identify types of catfish that can serve for consumption and for the market around us.
Among the new and intending catfish farmers, the issue of how to identify the types of catfish good for rearing has been an issue. In today’s post, we intend to address that because there are many benefits of catfish farming you need to tap into.
Understand that there are different species of catfish across the globe. That means you should make proper inquiries to know the ones that can be sold in and around the markets in your locality.
In other to narrow this post since there are many species of catfish out there, we will be focusing on the three most popular ones in Nigeria and Africa. The reason is that they are considered the fast-growing catfish species good for catfish farming.
How Many Catfish Species do we have?
There are over three thousand (3000) different types of catfish across the globe but time will not permit us to write comprehensively on how to identify the difference between each of them. For that reason, we have decided to focus our attention on Clarias, Hybrid, Heterobranchus, and Sp
These four species are the most popular in this part of Africa. The reason could be because of their taste and market value. So if you have been looking for how many catfish species are out there, we have given you the answer already.
How do I Identify Types of Catfish Good For Nigerian Market?
If you have already stocked your pond without clearly knowing the names or types of catfish you have, this section of the post will help you. Due to the overwhelming number of catfish species, we will narrow the identification to only the three most popular species. Now let’s begin;
- Heterobranchus Longifilis
This type of catfish is usually known by its dorsal fin which is almost divided by 60/40 on its back. The remaining 40% of the fin that extends down to its tail is called the adipose fin. This means that the species has both the dorsal and the adipose fin on its back. Looking at the adipose fin you will almost believe it is an additional flesh in the body. Another identification of heterobranchus is that they have a flat head. Just have that in mind anytime you are looking out for the species of catfish to take.
- Clarias Gariepinus
In clarias, there is the absence of the adipose fin, remember that the adipose fin is mostly found in Heterobranchus but in clarias, the fin stretches from the neck region to the tail without division. As a matter of fact, anytime you see a catfish with a long fin from the neck straight down to the tail it will tell you is a clarias species. Another thing is that their head is spherical and a bit tall.
- Clarias X Heterobranchus (Hybrid)
Hybrid is a specie derived from the cross-breeding of clarias gariepinus and heteroblanchus longifilis. That means that the specie has both the features of clarias gariepinus and heteroblanchus longifilis. The easiest way to identify this catfish is through its 90/10 fin at the back.
Looking at the back, you will notice that it has a fin that covers 90% of the back and 10% adipose fin. Just observe the picture above.
The post was put together for the new and intending farmers to be able to identify the types of catfish that would serve their local market. It is one thing to venture into fish farming and another thing to start with the right species.
The best way to differentiate these catfish we’ve talked about is through their fin. The pictures will do the explanation better. Heterobranchus has adipose fin, clarias has no adipose fin but hybrid has both the adipose and dorsal fin.