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Ameiurus melas (Rafinesque, 1820)

Image contributors to this species:

David Proudfit (1) Allan James (1) Jeff & Dorrie Sacksteder (3) Frants Lehmann (1 Stamp) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Article Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Inhabits pools, backwaters, and sluggish current over soft substrates in creeks and small to large rivers; impoundments, oxbows, and ponds. Nocturnal feeder, young consume immature insects, leeches, and crustaceans while adults also feed on clams, snails, plant material, and fishes. Are susceptible of being caught, where they are abundant, with baited lines intended for other species. Is considered a nuisance. Often misidentified as A. nebulosus. The North American ' Black Bullhead' adapts well to aquarium conditions but do bare in mind that it does grow big along with the capable size of its mouth! so if housing with other temperate fish you would be better going for larger stock such as yellow perch or the larger sunfishes. Putting them in with goldfish is not a good idea, not for the poor goldfish anyway!. They adapt well to most aquarium conditions as long as you give them a cave of some sort and to keep the lighting down to a minimum for viewing purposes.

Common Name:

Black Bullhead


Silurus melas, Ictalurus melas




North America: North American Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, Mississippi River basin and Gulf Coast basins; introduced elsewhere. Type locality: Ohio River.


40cm. (16ins)


08 -30°C (45-87°F)




Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
ScotCat Factsheet no. 05. March 1997.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (04/2010).



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