A Cat fish is a type of fish. As the name suggests, it looks similar to a cat because of its barbells which resemble a cat’s whiskers. Catfish are available in a range of sizes. Its three largest species that exist till date are the Mekong Giant Catfish from the Southeast part of Asia, the Piraíba of South America and the Wels Catfish of Eurasia. There are other species available too such as the Detrivores and the Candiru. One of their main characteristics is that they lack scales. Cat fish have significant commercial value, and the larger species are harvested and fished for food. The smaller species, on the other hand, are best for keeping in aquariums.
Cat fish Distribution And Habitat
Catfish are present in inland and coastal waters of all continents except Antarctica. They live in Asia, South America, and Africa. Moreover, one of their best species lives in the areas of North America. Moreover, they can live in freshwater as well as in saltwater. Species living freshwater prefer shallow and running water. In Southern America, they have acquired lots of slang names like ‘chuckleheads’ and ‘mudcat.’ However, the name changes from places to places. In some areas, a bullhead catfish has the name of a ‘chucklehead’ and in someplace a blue catfish has the same name.
Mekong Giant Cat fish
Mekong Giant Cat fish is a native to the Mekong basin southeast Asia and China. It has been declared critically endangered due to its speeding habitat loss. It has a greyish white color with no stripes. Its barbells are almost non-existent, and they lack teeth. Mekong giant catfish got the world record of the world largest freshwater fish in 2005. One of the most interesting characteristics is that these fishes grow very fast can attain a weight of almost 200 kilograms is six years. Moreover, they have barbels when they are younger, which shrink as they grow up.
Piraiba catfish can grow up to an enormous size of 12 feet. It lives in the Amazon and Orinoco basin and also in the brackish waters of South America. They are mostly used as human food and are sometimes kept in aquariums too.
Piraiba cat fish has long barbels and has modified jaw muscles. It is said to be the largest catfish found in the Amazon river. This fish has a popular name of ‘milkman’ because it sometimes secretes a white milky substance. They are dangerous as they can even hunt men when it comes to saving their life.
Wels is a native of the Eastern, Southern and Central Europe. They mostly live in the Black, Baltic, and Caspian Seas. The main characteristics of these fishes are its lack of scales and a flat head with a wide mouth. They can comfortably live up to fifty years. This type of catfish usually lives in deep warm lakes or slow-flowing rivers. Moreover, they are bottom eaters and eats worms and fishes. They are a source of feeding fish in ponds. Wels has many small teeth and two long barbels on the upper and lower jaws respectively. They appear black in clear water and brownish-green in muddy waters.