Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Fish and Other Cold-Blooded Vertebrates » Catfishes: Siluriformes - Physical Characteristics, Catfishes And People, Conservation Status, Channel Catfish (ictalurus Punctatus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION

Catfishes: Siluriformes - Squarehead Catfish (chaca Chaca): Species Accounts

fish spine sometimes barbels

Physical characteristics: Squarehead catfish are about 9 inches (23 centimeters) long. The head is broad and flat, almost square, with a deep groove on top. The mouth is very wide and has wormlike appendages that are not barbels, in addition to three pairs of small barbels. The body narrows toward the rear. The dorsal fin has a short spine. The adipose fin is a low ridge that flows into the tail fin. The pectoral fin has one notched spine. There is a row of fringe above the lateral (LAT-uhr-uhl) line, which is a series of pores and tiny tubes along each side of the body used for sensing vibrations.


Geographic range: Squarehead catfish live in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Squarehead catfish are commonly fished but are not eaten, probably because they look strange. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Squarehead catfish live on the soft bottoms of rivers, canals, ponds, and flood plains.


Diet: Squarehead catfish eat other fish, sometimes fish half as large as they are.


Behavior and reproduction: Squarehead catfish lie still on the soft bottom of the river bed. They sometimes move their barbels in a jerky motion to lure small fish near their large mouth. Scientists are not sure how squarehead catfish reproduce.


Squarehead catfish and people: Squarehead catfish are commonly fished but are not eaten, probably because they look strange. They are sometimes used in aquariums. The dorsal spine can inflict painful wounds if the fish is stepped on.


Conservation status: Squarehead catfish are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Catfishes: Siluriformes - Candiru (vandellia Cirrhosa): Species Accounts [next] [back] Catfishes: Siluriformes - Channel Catfish (ictalurus Punctatus): Species Accounts

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