Wetlands Animals

Walking Catfish
Walking Catfish
Class: Fishes: 4 classes  Diet: Fish, aquatic invertebrates
Order: Siluriformes: Catfishes
Size: 30.5 cm (12 in)
Family: No Fish family information  Conservation Status: Non-threatened
Scientific Name: Clarias batrachus Habitat: slow-moving, often stagnant waters
Range: India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia; introduced in USA: Florida

Size of Walking CatfishThe walking catfish is, indeed, capable of moving on land and, when it does so, is able to breathe air. It belongs to the family Clariidae, whose members have additional, specialized breathing organs opening off the gill arches. These are saclike structures containing many-branched extensions, well supplied with blood vessels for respiration.  An elongate fish, this catfish has long-based dorsal and anal fins and several pairs of sensory barbels; its skin is scaleless but liberally supplied with mucus, which protects the fish when it is out of water. These catfishes live in ponds or temporary pools, some of which may disappear in prolonged dry spells. When this happens, the catfish can move overland to another body of water, making snakelike movements and using its pectoral fins as "legs." If necessary, the walking catfish can bury itself in mud at the bottom of a pond and remain dormant throughout a dry season until the rains return. It feeds on aquatic invertebrates and fish.

Range of Walking Catfish
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