We are all used to the common names which we call fishes that is why this article must look surprising to you. Fishes are known to be very common in Nigeria and they are quite affordable, it is a source of protein and a substitute for meat when enough money is not available. In this article, I provided a detailed wrote up about common and scientific names of fishes in Nigeria.

Fishes are gill-bearing animals that lack limbs.  Fishes are abundant in most water bodies, they can be found in all aquatic environments from high mountains streams to even the deepest oceans. It serves as food for man and a source of protein, fish is also known to replace meat when it’s not available. Fishes in Nigeria come in different sizes and types, there are lots of fishes that are present in Nigeria which you do not know about.

Fishes also serve as a way of earning a good amount in Nigeria, those into fish farming can relate. Fish farmers do rear fish and make sure that they are very okay for consumption. fishes which are popularly reared in Nigeria is the catfish. The catfish breed of fish is one of the most popular fishes being reared in Nigeria and it’s quite popular in the southern part of the country because of the way it’s prepared. Catfish are used in preparing different types of delicacies, the most popular being pepper soup which is mostly eaten in the Southern region of Nigeria, you can also use it to make a stew or any kind of soup that you may prefer.

Fishes in Nigeria are not difficult to get, you can find fish anywhere in the Nigeria market and this has been quite easier than you would ever expect. Many people get different fishes and they do not even know the scientific names, just imagine you were asked about it somewhere, well this article will expose you to all you need to know below.

Common And Scientific Names Of Fishes In Nigeria 

  • Scientific Name: Synodontis ouemeensis

    • Common Name: Upside Down Catfish

This fish is known as the upside-down Catfish which is the common name and is known to occur in the waters of Nigeria, not very popular in the southern part of Nigeria but it is known by many fish lovers.  This fish grows to a length of about 15cm. This fish is widely eaten by many, those in the Western part know about it a lot, like Ogun state and other places and you should know that it tastes good, so whenever you see it be sure to try it.


  • Scientific Name: Tilapia zilli

    • Common Name: Red Belly Tilapia

This is a very common fish in Nigeria, this fish is eaten by almost everyone. Tilapia fish are known as freshwater fishes that are used in preparing delicious delicacies. The fish is found widely in the Southern part of Nigeria in freshwaters.

  • Scientific Name: Hepsetus odoe

    • Common Name: African Pike

This fish is always called a long fish, its body is filled with Pike, this species of fishes live in quiet or deep waters and they have a lifespan of about five years. It’s not that common over here in Nigeria.

  • Scientific Name: Protopterus annectens

    • Common Name: Africa Lung Fish

This fish is called the lungfish because of its shape. This fish has two pairs of long fins and 9-15 times the length of its head. Do you know that this fish can go up to three and a half years without any food intake, amazing right?

  • Scientific Name: Parachanna obscura

    • Common Name: Snake Head

This is a very popular fish in the Northern part of Nigeria, it is called the snakehead because of its shape which looks like a snake, the fish actually looks like a snake, it has scales on the body and its skin looks like that of a snake.

  • Scientific Name: Tilapia nilotica

    • Common Name: Nile Tilapia

The Nile Tilapia fish is another popular fish in the country, it is from the breeds of tilapia fishes and it’s widely eaten by many and sold in lots of major markets.

  • Scientific Name: Kribia kribensis ; Common Name: Killi Fish
  • Scientific Name: Malapterurus electricus; Common Name: Electrical Catfish
  • Scientific Name: Synodontis budgetti; Common Name: Catfish
  • Scientific Name: Lates niloticus; Common Name: Nile Perch
  • Scientific Name: Hemichromis bimaculatus; Common Name: Jewel Fish
  • Scientific Name: Labeo coubie; Common Name: African Carp
  • Scientific Name: Mormyrus rume; Common Name: Trunk Fish

In conclusion, we have given you detailed information about the fishes which are available in Nigeria, their scientific names, and their common names. Though many of these names are not actually what they are called in the market. Traders in the market have made the name into something else and they have made it possible or the names to be easier for them.