Catfish Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Catfish Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Yellow, Black, White, Tan
8 – 20 years
Catfish Distribition

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Feeding on the depths of the lake or river, the catfish is all the time conscious of its environment due to the distinguished whiskers on its face and an elaborate community of chemical receptors throughout its physique.

This wonderful sensory equipment on this species relays vital details about the composition of its surrounding surroundings. The catfish has additionally served as a standard delicacy in lots of human cultures around the globe. That is each a blessing and a curse. When there isn’t a regulation on searching, the catfish could also be pushed to the brink of extinction. However when people take an curiosity in its survival, the catfish is allowed to thrive.

An Unbelievable Fish: Three Catfish Info!

  • The catfish is thought by many alternative native names. Within the American South, it’s typically referred to as a mud cat or chucklehead.
  • Launched by people into numerous non-native environments for the needs of farming, that is one of many high invasive species on the earth. It will probably trigger critical injury to the ecosystem by consuming a lot of the native vegetation and animals.
  • Some species produce a venomous compound to take care of threats. This has confirmed to be harmful to people in just a few uncommon instances. The venom of the striped eel catfish specifically has resulted within the deaths of some folks.

Need extra catfish details? Take a look at ‘10 Loopy-Cool Catfish Info.’

The Totally different Forms of Catfish

The order of Siluriformes possesses a really staggering quantity of range. It comprises round 3,000 species throughout 35 completely different households. By comparability, the primate order, which incorporates all people, apes, and monkeys, is just composed of some hundred species. Listed here are just some examples of catfish species:

  • Blue Catfish: Endemic to Mexico and the Southeastern United States, that is the most important species of catfish on all the North American continent. With its blue-grey coloration, this fish is extremely tolerant of brackish waters, which has allowed it to thrive in all types of rivers and lakes.
  • Channel Catfish: This species inhabits a lot of the US and Mexico east of the Rocky Mountains. It has earned the title of essentially the most fished catfish species on the earth. In case you’ve ever eaten catfish, then you definately’ve seemingly had this kind of fish. This recognition has led to its introduction in Europe, Asia, and South America, the place it’s typically thought of an invasive species.
  • Cory Catfish: Cory catfish are common within the aquarium commerce. Within the wild, the species buries its snout into river bottoms and vacuums up meals. Cory catfish eat an omnivorous weight loss program of fish pellets and different meals like worms when saved in captivity.
  • Micro Catfish: This tropical freshwater fish of South America is likely one of the smallest catfish species on the earth. It grows to a size of no a couple of or two inches.
  • Mekong Big Catfish: On the different finish of the spectrum, the large Mekong large catfish is a part of the aptly named shark catfish household. It inhabits the Mekong basin of Southeast Asia and China.
  • Goonch: Also called the enormous satan catfish, the goonch is a big species weighing over 200 kilos. Residing largely in India, the goonch has typically impressed fascination and terror in equal measure.

Listed here are much more varieties of catfish to take a look at:

  • Banjo Catfish

Catfish Classification and Scientific Name

All catfish belong to a single order recognized by the scientific title of Siluriformes. As chances are you’ll already know, an order is the following main degree of taxonomy under a category. Within the case of the catfish, it’s a class of ray-finned fishes referred to as the Actinopterygii, which additionally contains tuna, swordfish, salmon, cod, and lots of different varieties of fish. All catfish advanced from a single widespread ancestor. This implies a single group branched out and led to all trendy catfish.Catfish Species

Catfish: The Fish’s Appearance

This fish is available in a various vary of various colours, shapes, and traits, however there are just a few distinct traits that unite all species collectively. Probably the most distinguished bodily attribute is the pair of lengthy barbels (the whiskers or feelers) alongside the higher jaw that act as sensory organs. Most even have receptors all around the physique that enable them to style or odor numerous chemical compounds within the water, however the barbels are the principle devices by way of which they sense the encircling surroundings. A single pair is customary, however some might have as much as 4 pairs of whiskers organized alongside the mouth, snout, and chin.

One other vital sensory function is a bony construction that connects the swim bladder to the fish’s auditory system referred to as a Weberian equipment. This permits it to provide and detect sounds within the water.

Most have an extended physique and flattened head to permit for backside feeding. With their tendency to sink quite than float, they spend most of their time sifting the ground for meals, normally in the course of the evening however typically in the course of the day as nicely. Their mouths are extensively spaced to soak up giant portions of meals at a single time. Most species are grey, white, yellow, brown, or inexperienced in colour. The pores and skin consists of bony plates or a lining of mucus as a substitute of scales. A backbone close to the fins is current in some species to thrust back harmful predators. It normally delivers both a pointy sting or a really painful and debilitating venom.

The dimensions additionally displays its immense range. The order ranges significantly in measurement between the banjo catfish, which is lower than an inch lengthy, and the really huge wels catfish, which measures as much as 15 toes in size and 660 kilos in weight. Sexual variations between men and women appear to happen in about half of all documented households. Some species function really uncommon variations. As an example, the upside-down catfish lives as much as its title by swimming the other way up. The electrical catfish in Africa can generate some 450 volts of electrical energy. The strolling catfish can traverse land for brief distances in between swimming pools by shifting on its entrance fins and tail. It has the power to breathe in oxygen from the air. Every of those variations is nicely-suited to the surroundings wherein it lives.

Catfish isolated on a white background
Oleksandr Lytvynenko/

Catfish: The Fish’s Distribution, Inhabitants, and Habitat

Nearly all of this species of fish inhabit the shallow freshwater areas of each continent on the planet aside from Antarctica. The one exceptions are a number of species tailored particularly for saltwater environments and even caves. Inhabitants numbers are typically fairly sturdy the world over, and most species will not be but liable to extinction. Nevertheless, some species are more and more in peril on account of overfishing and marine air pollution. The Mekong large catfish of Southeast Asia and China, the Andean catfish of Ecuador, the blind-whiskered catfish of Mexico, and a number of other different species are all thought of to be critically endangered, whereas many others are trending that manner.

Catfish Predators and Prey

This fish lives in so many alternative locations that it has a staggering listing of predators. A few of the most typical predators embody birds of prey, snakes, alligators, otters, fish (together with different catfish), and naturally people. As a consequence of their giant bodily measurement and defensive spines, the catfish is hardly the primary alternative of prey with which many predators need to tussle. However among the smaller of the species specifically are most weak.

This fish’s weight loss program additionally varies significantly by location. Most species feed on random algae, snails, worms, bugs, and different small marine creatures by sucking or gulping them up with their enormous mouths. The bigger species devour frogs, newts, birds, rodents, and different animals as nicely. For a whole evaluation of what catfish eat, we printed ‘What Do Catfish Eat? 13 Meals in Their Diet.‘

Catfish: The Fish’s Replica and Lifespan

With roughly 3,000 species to account for, this fish varies fairly a bit when it comes to its copy habits. Breeding season normally happens in the course of the late spring and early summer season. The females can lay 1000’s of eggs at a time inside small hiding locations reminiscent of rock crevices or dense vegetation. The eggs hatch shortly after a mere 5 to 10 days. The daddy is tasked with a lot of the parental obligation. The utmost life expectancy of a typical catfish species is wherever between eight and 20 years within the wild. A few of them clearly fall sufferer to predators lengthy earlier than this.

Catfish in Fishing and Cooking

The catfish is such a well-liked dish all through the world that enormous numbers of catfish are intentionally raised in farms. Every native tradition tends to have its personal technique of cooking the catfish. Within the Southeastern United States, it’s sometimes fried and made with cornmeal. In Southeast Asia, it’s grilled or fried after which eaten with numerous greens and spices. In Hungary, it’s cooked with paprika sauce and noodles.


  1. Brittanica, Available here:
  2. Soft Schools (1970) Jump to top

Relate animals

Abyssinian Guinea Pig

They are one of the oldest breeds of guinea pig

Ackie Monitor

The ackie monitor has a spiny tail which it uses as in self-defense.


The Albertonectes had the longest neck out of other Elasmosaurids.

American Bully

Though the American bully was bred to look intimidating, it makes an extremely friendly family pet!

Latest Animal News