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Bathyclarias jacksoni was described from three specimens of 46-68 cm (18-26¾ inches) standard length (without caudal fin), and the head of a fourth. The holotype was caught at Nkhata Bay, Malawi. Specimens in the type series of B. jacksoni had been included among Jackson's material of B. nyasensis and B. loweae (Greenwood, 1961).

Nothing seems to be known about the diet of this deep-water catfish. Greenwood (1961) did not report any examination of stomach contents, and there is no information in FishBase or paper-based references.

B. jacksoni can be distinguished from the other species of Bathyclarias in that it has all of the following characters (adapted from Greenwood, 1961: 222-223, 230):

  1. Gill rakers long, length of longest gill raker (on outer arch) divided by length of longest gill filament = 0.7-1.0 ["almost equal to the longest gill filaments" in the specimens available to Greenwood (1961)];
  2. Body stout;
  3. Maxillary barbel contained 1.2-1.7 in head length (in specimens 46-68 cm SL);
  4. Suprabranchial arboresecent organs reduced to "a simple stub on the 4th gill arch";
  5. Dorsal surface of head mostly smooth, with few rugosities;
  6. Suprabranchial epithelium of Greenwood's "Saccobranchus type" [the gill lamellae organized in an arrangement resembling the folded surface of a brain, in contrast to the "Clarias"-type (lamellae in parallel rows) and the "coralline"-type (lamellae in small circular to J-shaped islands); see Greenwood (1961: 234-5 and fig. 1)].
Characters 4-6 distinguish B. jacksoni from B. loweae; characters 2 and 3 separate it from B. nyasensis.

 

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The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa:  MalawiCichlids.com

Last Update: 18 October 1999
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
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