Eel-catfishes


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Eel-catfishes, eeltail catfishes, stinging catfishes or coral catfishes are members of the Plotosidae family. They are found in fresh, brackish, and marine waters of tropical and subtropical regions of the Indo-West Pacific. (Japan to Australia and Fiji). They differ from all other catfish families in possessing a dendritic organ at the base of the anal fin. Their second dorsal fin and anal fin confluent with caudal fin forming a pointed or bluntly-rounded tail. Their dorsal and pectoral fin spines are armed with potent venom, capable of producing very painful sting.

Eel-catfishes are bottom feeders and use the barbels around their mouth to detect food. They feed primarily on crustaceans, molluscs and fishes.

There are 10 genera and about 40 species of eel-catfishes that make up the Plotosidae family worldwide. Malaysia is represented by 2 genera and 3 species of eel catfishes.


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Scientific Name: Paraplotosus albilabris  (Valenciennes, 1840)
English Name: Whitelipped Eel Catfish
Mandarin Name: 鳗鲶 (Mán nián),海土虱 (Hǎi tǔ shī), 白唇副鳗鲶 (Bái chún fù mán nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Semilang, Semilang Perut Putih
Local Hokkien: Thor Sat
Local Teochew: Thow Sak
Size: Maximum length about 130 cm, usually 40 cm or less.
Remark: Very venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Be very careful in handling.






Scientific Name:Plotosus canius Hamilton, 1822
English Name: Black Eel Catfish, Gray Eel-catfish
Mandarin Name: 鳗鲶 (Mán nián), 海土虱(Hǎi tǔ shī), 印度洋鳗鲶 (Yìndùyáng mán nián)
Local Malay Name: Ikan Semilang, Sembilang Gemang
Local Hokkien: Thor Sat
Local Teochew: Thow Sak
Size: Maximum length about 150 cm, usually 80 cm or less.
Remark: Very venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Be very careful in handling.






Scientific Name: Plotosus lineatus (Thunberg, 1787)
English Name: Striped Eel-catfish
Mandarin Name: 沙麻 (Shā má), 海土虱(Hǎi tǔ shī), 横纹鳗鲶 (Héng wén mán nián)
Local Malay Name: Sembilang Karang, Usat, Sembilang batu, Kelara, Gemang
Local Hokkien: Sua Mua
Size: Maximum length about 30 cm.
Remark: Very venomous spines at the dorsal and pectoral fins. Be very careful in handling.