Inhabits rocky pools in main river channels and larger
creeks. Colouration: Dark grey to
yellowish grey brown overall; juveniles are usually
darker than adults. Aquarium Care:
Better suited to larger tanks of 5ft (150cm) or over
with rocks and plants provided for cover. This is
one of the larger species in this genera. Reproduction:
Collection of specimens with ripe and recently spent
gonads in November suggests that breeding occurs at
the commencement of the wet season. Diet:
Omnivorous. Stomach contents of fish less than 10cm
SL were mainly insects and their larvae, primarily
chironomid larvae, ephemeropterans, and trichopterans;
small amounts of odonates, unidentified dipterans,
ostracods, and filamentous algae. Fish larger than
10cm mainly ingested trichopterans, ostracods, and
chironomids with some amounts of dipterans, odonates,
aquatic coleopterans, corixids, Macrobrachium, bivalves,
filamentous algae, and detritus. Etymology:
mollespiculum: Named for its soft, flexible
dorsal spine. Remarks:
Closely resembles N.
the only other Australian plotosid which lacks rigid
dorsal and pectoral spines, but that species has longer
nasal barbels. Listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species (2019) because the Extent
of Occurrence is around 9,000 km2, the Area of Occupancy
is estimated to be less than 100 km2, it is known
from only one location when considering the threat
of invasive species, and there is an observed decline
in the number of mature individuals possibly due to
Carson, Drysdale, Katherine, Fergusson, and Burdekin
Rivers, northern Australia. Type locality:
Running River, Burdekin River system, Queensland,
ca. 19º07'S, 145º50'E, Australia.
Allen, G.R., S.H. Midgley
and M. Allen, 2002.Field
guide to the freshwater fishes of Australia. Western
Australian Museum, Perth, Western Australia. 394 p.
Allen, G.R. and M.N. Feinberg, 1998. Descriptions
of a new genus and four new species of freshwater
catfishes (Plotosidae) from Australia. aqua, J. Ichthyol.
Aquat. Biol. 3(1):9-18.
Ebner, B., Brooks, S. & Kennard, M. 2019.
Neosilurus mollespiculum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened
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. 2020. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic
publication. www.fishbase.org, version.