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Related Catfish FAQs: Silurid Catfishes& Catfish: Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

Related Articles: Catfishes


/A Diversity of Aquatic Life


The Catfishes of the Family Siluridae

By Bob Fenner



Silurid catfishes comprise 2 genera and about 100 species of Asian and European catfishes, all freshwater. Family includes the largest strictly freshwater fish, the European Wel, Siluris glanis, up to 5 meters in length, 330 kg. in weight. No spine before dorsal fin, lack an adipose, and pelvics are either small or completely absent. Nasal barbel absent as well, and have long anal fin base (41-110 rays).  





Species You're Likely To See:


Kryptopterus bicirrhis (Valenciennes 1840), the Glass Catfish. Asia: the Mekong and Chao Phraya basins; Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. To six inches long in the wild, about half this in captivity. Feeds on insects (floating and aquatic), mollusks and worms. 

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Kryptopterus cryptopterus (Bleeker 1851), the Blue Sheatfish. S.E. Asia; widely distributed. To eight inches in length. A shoaling, active species requiring space and tankmates that don't mind activity.

Ompak pabda (Hamilton, 1822).


Occasionally other Glass Catfish species of this family are offered... and I have seen Ompak bimaculatus from time to time.






Bibliography/Further Information:


Catfishes on the Internet:



Planet Catfish: http://www.planetcatfish.com/core/index.htm

Burgess, Warren E. 1989. An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine Catfishes. Tropical Fish Hobbyist Publications. NJ, USA. pp. 786.

Nelson, Joseph S. 1994. Fishes of the World, 3d ed.. John Wiley & Sons,

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