his month (March 2022) we report on what is basically
a marine or brackish water species found along the
coasts from the Ariidae family, the Soldier catfish,
a fish although it reaches amanageable
standard length of35.0cm
(14ins), is probably not suitable for the home aquarium
due to its meanderings from marine and brackish conditions
and sometimes entering fresh waters in exceptional
There are specimens
from this monotypic (only one genus and species) that
sport yellow in the fins. These individuals are usually
found in the Northern Gulf of Thailand and still have
the black or dark blue to the adipose and caudal fin
is found in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans
from Pakistan to the Malay Archipelago.
Karachi Fish Harbour
What is unusual
that it differs from all other ariid species in having
only one pair of semi-osseous maxilary barbels and
no mental barbels. These maxillary barbels are stiff
and not flexable like most members of the Ariidae
family. The type species is Arius militaris
Valenciennes, 1840 (= Silurus militaris Linnaeus,
1758). Type by subsequent designation by Bleeker (1862:
8; 1863: 93). Gender: Masculine.
region from the west coast of India to Bangladesh,
Myanmar, Singapore, Malacca, Indonesia, Brunii,
Darussalam, Malaysia and Pakistan.
Type locality: Asia.
No types known.
At present, there is only one recognised valid species
Distributed along the Indo-Pacific
region from the west coast of India to Bangladesh,
Myanmar, Singapore, Malacca, Indonesia, Brunii, Darussalam,
Malaysia and Pakistan. Type Locality:
Asia. No types known.
Dorsal profile of head rising
as a gentle slope to first dorsal fin base; only one
pair of stiff, semiosseous maxillary barbels, mental
barbells absent; head shield smooth without granulations
or rugose striations; supraoccipatal process narrow,
more than twice longer than broad, its hind end narrowly
curved; median longitudinal groove broad, not reaching
to base of supraoccipital process; predorsal plate
crescent shaped; premaxillarv band of teeth in upper
jaw 5 times as long as broad, mandibulary band of
teeth narrow, medially interrupted; palate teeth conical,
in 2 widely separated but posteriorly converging semioval
patches on each side. First dorsal and pectoral fins
each with a strong spine; total anal fin rays 19 to
22. All other species of Ariidae: have 1 or 2 pairs
of mental barbels (absent in O. militaris);
maxillary barbels slender (not stiff or semiosseous).
Differs from all other ariid species in having only
a pair of semi-osseous maxilary barbels.
Top of head and back intense
dark blue. belly with lighter shades sparingly dotted
with black spots; greyish white, minutely spotted
with black, tips of first dorsal and adipose fins
Care & Compatibility
Not suitable for the aquarium
This species is
a mouth brooder and incubates the eggs in their mouths,
and for a time the young fish too, fasting in all
for a period of 6 weeks. Gestating males were found
starving. The occurrence of mature females and gestating
male parents indicate that they spawn during August-April.The maximum number of incubated eggs recorded
from oro – buccal cavity of O. militaris
was 56 eggs.
but in this family the females pelvic fins are modified
in shape by having on the inner side a thick flap
which is believed to be used to hold the eggs temporarily
before they are transferred to the males mouth.
Feeds mainly on invertebrates
and small fishes.
Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the
rayed dorsal fin. Caudal fin: The tail. Dorsal:The primary
rayed fin(s) on top of the body. Maxillary Barbels: Pertaining to
the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels). Mental Barbels:
Pertaining to the chin, on the lower jaw. (mental
barbels). Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head. Pelvic fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins (also referred to
as ventrals). Premaxillary: In relation to the
premaxilla (an upper jaw bone) e.g. premaxillary tooth
bone at the back of the skull, usually with a crest.
Species Identification Sheets. Family: Ariidae
1983. Ferraris, C.J. Jr.,
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary
types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2022. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, version (02/2022). Hossain, Mohammad & Sivasubbu,
Sridhar & Scaria, Vinod & JK, Jena & Ponniah,
A.G. & Orbán, László.
(2014). Barcoding of Asian seabass across its geographic
range provides evidence for its bifurcation into two
distinct species. Frontiers in Marine Science. Jayaram, K.C.,
1984. Ariidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.)
FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes.
Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 1. FAO,
Rome. pag. var. Jayaram. K.C.
2006, Catfishes of India. Narendera Publishing House.
383p. Vij, Shubha & Kathiresan, Purushothaman
& Gopikrishna, Gopalapillay & Lau, Doreen
& Saju, Jolly & Vellarikkal, Shamsudheen &
Katneni, Vinaya Kumar & Basheer, V S & Gopalakrishnan,
Dr & Wheeler, Alwyne. Fishes of the World.
An illustrated Dictionary. Ferndale Editions London.
1975. 366 P. Wikipedia.org WoRMS Editorial Board (2022). World
Register of Marine Species.