Osteocranium anatomy of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus Burchell 1822) from cultured pond in Aceh, Indonesia


To date, information related the skeletal morphology of fish in Indonesia is still limited. Therefore, we first described the morphology of the cranium of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) collected from an aquaculture pond in Aceh Province, Indonesia. In the present study, research methodology included the preparation of cranium, photographing, editing images, and identifying the terminology of the cranium. The cranium was prepared physically and chemically. Each part of the cranium was documented using a Canon EOS 700D camera and edited using Adobe Photoshop CS6. The cranium nomenclature was determined by comparing the similarity of the shape and location of each part of the fish cranium that has been studied previously. The cranium of African catfish was divided into two major parts, namely neurocranium (ossa neurocranii) and splanchnocranium (ossa splanchnocranii). Neurocranium had four regions belonging to ethmoidal, orbital, otic, and occipital, while splanchnocranium had five regions belonging to maxillaris, mandibularis, arcus mandibularis, arcus hyoideus, and apparatus opercular. The African catfish had a solid and thick neurocranium structure. however, orbital, arcus hyoideus, and opercular apparatus regions were not well developed. The results of this study could be used as a basis for further research, especially in taxonomy and the phylogeny of fish.