Catfish

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Catfish
Temporal range:
Upper Cretaceous – Recent
Eel-tail catfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Superorder: Ostariophysi
Order: Siluriformes

Catfish are an order of teleost fish, the Siluriformes. There are about 40 families in the order.

They are called catfish because their barbels look like the whiskers of a cat. They are very diverse. The heaviest is the Mekong giant catfish, up to 350 kg (770 lb). The longest is the wels catfish, up to 4 m (13 ft). There are also detrivores in the group. There are some tiny parasitic catfish called candiru. Some catfish are grown for food, in fish farms. Some catfish can be kept in aquaria.

Special lifestyles[change | change source]

Most catfish do not harm people, but some of them can cause problems. It is said that the candiru can enter the human urethra, where they stay as parasites. In normal life they are parasites on fish gills.

The Malapteruridae are a family of electric catfish. Several species of the family can produce an electric shock of up to 350 volts using electroplaques of an electric organ.[1]

Reference[change | change source]

  1. Ng, Heok Hee 2000. Malapterurus electricus. Animal Diversity Web. [1]