Marine Catfishes


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Marine catfishes or fork-tailed catfishes are the common names used for the members of Ariidae family. They occur in saltwater, brackish, and fresh waters of tropical and subtropical oceans. They are mainly saltwater fishes that sometimes enter freshwater. Some species are only found in freshwater. They have forked caudal fin, 3 pairs of barbels (rarely 2 pairs), and bony plates on head and near dorsal fin. They have 3 long, hard, usually serrated spines on their dorsal and pectoral fins. These spines are venomous but not lethal.

Marine catfishes are bottom-living fishes found in mangrove areas, large river estuaries, and turbid waters, as well as in fully marine waters and clear fresh waters. Some of them are omnivorous and some feed on small fishes, molluscs and crustaceans.

There are 30 genera and more than 147 species of Ariidae worldwide. Malaysia has 11 genera and about 25 species, with 3 species that enter freshwater.


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Scientific Name: Arius jella  Day, 1877
English Name: Blackfin Sea Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 黑鳍海鲶 (Hēi qí hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Lundu, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Duri Pulutan
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดครีบดำ (Plā kd khrīb dả)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Size: Maximum standard length 30 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.








Scientific Name: Arius leptonotacanthus  Bleeker, 1849
English Name: Smoothspined Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 细背棘海鲶 (Xì bèi jí hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Blotan, Gagok, Jahan, Manyung, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Seludu
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดทะเล (Plā kd thale)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Main Identification Features: Predorsal profile elevated at nape. Moderately prominent lateral ethmoid (before eye). Barbels flattened.
Size: Maximum standard length 25 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.






Scientific Name: Arius maculatus  (Thunberg, 1792)
English Name: Spotted Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 斑海鲶 (Bān hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Baguk, Blotan, Gagok, Jahan, Manyung, Mayong, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Seludu, Duri Tompok
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดหัวแข็ง (Plā kd h̄ạwk̄hæ̆ng), ปลากดหัวโม่ง (Plā kd h̄ạwmòng)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Main Identification Features: Predorsal plate shape like an inverted V. Eyes oval in shape. Dorsal and pectoral fins with strong, serrated spine. Caudal fin forked and pelvic fin reaching anal fin origin. Upper region of head and body dark brown. Lateral part grey, becoming whitish with dusky spots near abdomen. Fins red with black tips. Pectoral and pelvic fins dusky above. Adipose fin with black spot.
Size: Maximum total length about 80 cm, commonly to 30 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.














Scientific Name: Arius oetik  Bleeker, 1846
English Name: Lowly Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 奥地海鲶 (Ào dì hǎi nián), 奥迪海鲶 (Àodí hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Blotan, Gagok, Jahan, Manyung, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Seludu, Otek, Duri Utik
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาหนาม (Plā h̄nām)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Main Identification Features: Body tan above and white below. Fins yellowish with brown margin. Short filament on dorsal-fin spine tip.
Size: Maximum standard length 23 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.






Scientific Name: Osteogeneiosus militaris  (Linnaeus, 1758)
English Name: Soldier Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 骨舌海鲶 (Gǔ shé hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Blotan, Gagok, Jahan, Manyung, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Seludu, Otek, Duri Muncung
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดหัวอ่อน (Plā kd h̄ạw on)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Main Identification Features: Head strongly depressed. Head shield covered with smooth skin. Only one pair barbels present (maxillary barbels); barbels long and stiff, extending to or beyond pectoral fin base. Fin spines thin. Body bluish colour above, white or cream below. Dorsal fin and adipose fin with dark blue margin.
Size: Maximum total length about 35 cm, commonly to 23 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.






Scientific Name: Plicofollis argyropleuron  (Valenciennes, 1840)
English Name: Longsnouted Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 银侧海鲶 (Yín cè hǎi nián), 大头海鲶 (Dàtóu hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Badukang, Blotan, Gagok, Jahan, Manyung, Pedukang, Pepulut, Pulutan, Sedudu, Seludu, Otek, Manyung Jahal (Indonesian)
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดทะเล (Plā kd thale)
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Seng Huer, Chim Chu
Main Identification Features: Head strongly depressed and long. Head shield covered with smooth skin. Long snout, small mouth and low-set eye. Caudal peduncle deep, 1.3 to 2.1 in its length. Adipose dorsal fin dusky but without distinct black spot.
Size: Maximum fork length 50 cm.
Remarks: Venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Handle with care.








Other Species Haven't Been Identified

Family Name: Ariidae
English Name: Marine Catfish
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 成魚 (Chéng yú), 海鯰 (Hǎi nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Duri, Deduri, Pedukang, Jahan, Lundu, Otek, Baguk, Gaguk, Mayong, Pulutan, Tok Misai
Local Hokkien: Sai Seng, Ah Seng, Teng Tau
Local Teochew: Chim Chu











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