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Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794)

Image contributors to this species:

Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2) Reinhold Wawrzynski (5) Thomas Kobe (1) Cheilinus Aquarium Photography (2)

ScotCat Sources:

FactsheetEtymology = Genus Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

FishbaseGoogle Seaarch All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Found mainly in ponds, ditches, swamps and marshes, but sometimes occurs in muddy rivers. Can tolerate slightly brackish water. Omnivorous. Breeds in confined waters during the monsoon months, but can breed in ponds, derelict ponds and ditches when sufficient  rain-water accumulates. Oviparous, distinct pairing possibly like other members of the same family. In great demand due to its medicinal value. Can be differentiated from Heteropneustes microps by having a notch between the anal and caudal fin while microps is closed. Aquarium Care: Apart from giving it the utmost respect when handling, it does very well in a larger aquarium, and you can either keep it alone with other inhabitants that are too big for its mouth (large Barbs, Cichlids etc.) or in a group situation if you would like the challenge of breeding them. A sand substrate is best with hiding places of rock and cave work and making sure that it has plenty of swimming space, as they do like to cruise the tank during the night time hours. Keep your regular water changes up with good filtration as they are a greedy species, and can make a mess of your aquarium if good husbandry is not adhered to.

Common Name:

Asian Stinging catfish, Fossil Cat


Silurus fossilis, Saccobranchus fossilis, Silurus singio




Asia: Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Myanmar. Type locality: Tranquebar


30cm. (12ins)


21-25C (69-77F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (11/2008).
ScotCat Factsheet no. 91. Jan. 2004.



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