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Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Image contributors to this species:

Molluscan Pictures (2) Wolfgang Ros (18) Ilya and Dr Daniel Pauly (1 Stamp) Frants Lehmann (1 Stamp) Reinhold Wawrzynski (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Article Article Article Art Gallery Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Inhabits lowland streams, swamps, ponds, ditches, rice paddies, and pools left in low spots after rivers have been in flood. Usually confined to stagnant, muddy water. Found in medium to large-sized rivers, flooded fields and stagnant water bodies including sluggish flowing canals. Undertakes lateral migrations from the Mekong mainstream, or other permanent water bodies, to flooded areas during the flood season and returns to the permanent water bodies at the onset of the dry season. Can live out of water for quite sometime and move short distances over land. Can walk and leave the water to migrate to other water bodies using its auxiliary breathing organs. The Lao use this fish as lap pa or ponne pa. Feeds on insect larvae, earthworms, shells, shrimps, small fish, aquatic plants and debris. An important food fish that is marketed live, fresh and frozen. Recently rare, due to replacing of introduced African walking catfish. It received its common name of the 'Walking Catfish' on its ability to walk overland from pond to pond when their original habitat dries up or after a heavy rainfall. They possess a much reduced air-bladder and their gills are stiffened to prevent their collapse when out of water and in a special part of the gill chamber are spongy arborecent (tree-like) organs growing from the upper ends of the gill arches. These and the skin surrounding them, are well supplied with blood vessels and operate efficiently in water lacking in oxygen or when the fish is out of water. They of course keep their gills closed when out of water and as long as their body is kept moist they can stay on land for a considerable length of time.

Common Name:

Walking Catfish


Silurus batrachus, Clarias magur, C. punctatus, Macropteronotus batrachus, Macropteronotus magur.




Asia: Mekong and Chao Phraya basins, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo. Type locality: Africa, Asia.


60.0cm. (24ins)


20-25°C (68-77°F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2009).
ScotCat Factsheeo. 47. May 2000.



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