© Nigel J Dennis


Catfish (Ariidae)




Catfish can be up to 45cm in length.

Catfish Identification

Catfish have long bodies that are at times shaped similarly to that of an eel, and their tailfins are forked. They have two to three pairs of barbels around the mouth. Normally catfish are a dull brown or silvery-brown in colour, and sometimes have stripes.

Catfish General Info

Catfish belong to the Ariidae family which comprises of 14 genera and 120 species. Their dorsal fin hold a long, poisonous spine. They have no scales, but their foreheads are covered in bony plates. They can be found in crevices, at times. Catfish are one of the few species that breed orally, the male keeping fertilised eggs in its mouth until they hatch.

Catfish Feeding

Catfish feed on small fish, benthic invertebrates and often on shrimps, crabs and molluscs. They find food in the sand by using their barbels.


Catfish can be found in tropical and temperate oceans across the world, and some species can be found in freshwater and estuaries.

Common Species

Sea catfish
Galeichthys sp
Striped eel catfish
Plotosus lineatus
Striped eel catfish juvenile
Plotosus lineatus