Bathyclarias ilesi is reportedly known to indigenous people as the "Black sapuwa" (Jackson, 1959). As in B. filicibarbis, in B. ilesi also "[a] thick black mucus, which is readily removable, coats the body so that when a fish is brought aboard a boat streaks of tarry black mucus come off on the hands, clothes and boat" (Jackson, 1961: 556).
Only a few specimens are known, the largest of which is the holotype, 73 cm (28¾ inches) in total length. It was caught off Nkhata Bay, Malawi in 20-50 meters (Jackson, 1959).
Not much is known of its ecology. Eccles (1992) reported that this is a bottom-dwelling species that has been caught as deep as 90 meters. According to Konings (1990a), it is "a piscivore feeding mainly on cichlids." FishBase has little more to add.
B. ilesi can be distinguished from the other species of Bathyclarias in that it has all of the following characters (adapted from Greenwood, 1961: 224, 230):
|Last Update: 18 October 1999
Web Author: M. K. Oliver, Ph.D.
Copyright © 1997-2021 by M. K. Oliver, Ph.D. - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED