Airbreathing Catfishes


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Airbreathing catfishes or walking catfishes belong to the Clariidae family. They are distributed in Africa, Syria, and southern and western Asia (Philippines to Java).Their dorsal fin extends over much of their body length, usually over 30 dorsal fin rays and without a leading spine. Their dorsal fin can be discontinuous or united to caudal fin. Their caudal fin is rounded.

Clariids are all freshwater fish. Most of the species are carnivorous, feeding on small fishes, crustaceans and insects.

There are 15 genera and about 115 species worldwide. Malaysia has about 11 species.


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Scientific Name: Clarias nieuhofii  Valenciennes, 1840
English Name: Slender Walking Catfish
Mandarin Name: 连鳍胡鲶 (Lián qí hú nián), 塘虱 (Táng shī)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Keli, Keli Limbat
Local Hokkien: Thor Sat
Local Teochew: Thow Sak