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Silurus glanis Linnaeus, 1758

Image contributors to this species:

Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library  (1) Frants Lehmann (6 Stamps) Karl-Heinz Dau (4 Stamps) Reinhold  Wawrzynski (4) Tobias Koch (3) The Compleat Ebro Angler (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Art Gallery Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory Blog Page  Wikipedia

Relevant Information:

Dorsal spines (total): 1 - 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 4 - 5; Anal spines: 1;Anal soft  rays: 90 – 95. Caudal fin with 17 rays. Occurs mainly in large lakes and rivers, though occasionally enters brackish water in the Baltic and Black Seas. Found in deep waters of  dams constructed on the lower reaches of rivers. Known to feed at night on ducks, voles, crayfish and small fishes. Spawns in the salt water of the Aral Sea (at Kulandy). Aquarium Care: You can of course keep small Wels Catfish in an aquarium where feeding is no problem with dim lighting and a large external filter and they will eat anything ( just keep an eye on your household ‘cat’), but where would it go after outgrowing your tank as Public Aquariums have probably their full quota. As they are very predatory, you should never keep it together with smaller fish, because especially the small ones can swallow very big things. You should also get it some kind of shelter like a root or some kind of tube. Diet: You can actually keep a Wels in an aquarium as long as it is small enough, but you should NOT give it normal catfish food which contains a lot of plant-material. S. glanis is a highly carnivorous predator and will eat a lot of things. Worms are very good, as well as, dependent on its size, insect larvae. Crushed snails also work, but if they get bigger you should mainly feed them with fish. They will even eat dead fish or chunks of it, and I have often read that they even eat normal meat and squid in aquariums, but over a longer time this is possibly not that good.

Common Name:

Wels catfish


Siluris glanis, Silurus silurus, Silurus glanis aralensis 




Europe and Asia: Russia, Central & Eastern Europe. Germany, upper Rhine and eastwards to  the Black and Caspian Seas. Introduced to other waters for fishing purposes such as the River Ebro in Spain.


2.3m. (9ft)


04-20°C (35-67°F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (11/2008).
Bühler; Markus, (pers. comm. Oct. 2008).  
ScotCat Factsheet no. 1; Jan. 1997



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