Bubu Catfish

Auchenoglanis occidentalis

About This Animal

SIZE: Up to 3 ft. (91 cm)

RANGE: Most rivers of West Africa, Lake Chad, the entire Congo River system, the Nile, East African lakes and the rivers Omo and Giuba

HABITAT: Bottom dwellers of rivers, lakes and streams with muddy bottoms

DIET: Omnivore (fish, worms, crustaceans and some plants)

ON EXHIBIT: Rivers of the World gallery

The Bubu Catfish, also known as the Giraffe Catfish, the African Giraffe Catfish and the African Giraffe Bagrid, is an important food fish for Africans.  It is known as a “gentle giant” because of its peaceful disposition.  The male guards the eggs which are scattered in a nest.  A different species of catfish will take advantage of the Bubu’s behavior by allowing the Bubu Catfish to care for its eggs and young as well.  This is an example of interspecific brood care.

According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Bubu Catfish are of least concern with a wide distribution from central to equatorial Africa.