Commonly known as "Whale Catfishes"
because of the origin of the first name
Cetopis, meaning "looks like a whale".
Three pairs of barbels (no nasals); no adipose
fin; swim bladder highly reduced and enclosed
in bony capsule; dorsal fin far forward; anal
fin with 20-29 rays. Five genera, Cetopsis,
Denticetopsis, Helegenes and
There are 42 species (2019) in this family and
they are not too popular in the hobby due to
their inactivity in the aquarium. One member
of this genus the "Candiru" is
a voracious predator on other wounded fish in
its habitat, burying into the flesh of