Stinging Catfish (Breeding, Appearance, and Habitat)

Stinging Catfish

Stinging Catfish or Fossil Cat, scientifically known as Heteropneustes fossilis, is a type of airsac catfish found in various Asian countries like India, Bangladesh, and Thailand.

It’s even introduced to Iran’s Tigris River Basin. This fish usually lives in ponds, ditches, swamps, and marshes but can also be found in muddy rivers.

Stinging catfish can survive in slightly salty water and eat different types of food. It breeds during the monsoon season when there’s enough rainwater.

People believe that this fish has medicinal properties which make it highly demanded. Stinging catfish plays an important role in local fishing industries.

It’s also farmed for food and sold as a pet for aquariums. This fish has different names depending on the region it’s found.

For example, it’s called “kadu” or “karri” in Kerala (India), “xingi maas” or “na singgi” in Assam (India), “singi mach” in Bangladesh, and “hunga” by Sinhala speakers in Sri Lanka.

One interesting fact about this species is that it can sting humans with poison from their pectoral fins which causes extreme pain.

It’s a venomous fish but also valuable for its alleged health benefits.

Stinging Catfish Interesting Facts

  • Stinging catfish, scientifically known as Heteropneustes fossilis, are found in various Asian countries and have been introduced to Iran’s Tigris River Basin.
  • These fish can survive in slightly salty water, eat different types of food, and breed during the monsoon season.
  • They’re believed to have medicinal properties, making them highly demanded for food, local fishing industries, and aquarium pets.
  • Stinging catfish can sting humans with venom from their pectoral fins, causing extreme pain.

Stinging Catfish Habitat

Stinging catfish is found in Asia, specifically in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. It has also been introduced to other regions.

This fish lives in brackish and freshwater environments near the bottom of the waters (demersal).

Stinging catfish prefers a pH range between 6.0 to 8.0, with a hardness (dH) range of up to 30.

This fish typically lives at depths up to 1 meter. It prefers water temperatures between 70°F to 77°F (21°C to 25°C).

Stinging catfish is found in tropical areas from latitudes of about 33°N to around 5°N and longitudes between approximately 64°E to 97°E.

Water Temperature:70°F to 77°F (21°C to 25°C)
Water pH:6.0 to 8.0 pH
Water Hardness:Unknown

Stinging Catfish Physical Characteristics

Size: 16 inches (41.2 centimeters)

Stinging catfish grows up to 16 inches (41.2 centimeters) long and weighs up to 400 grams.

Stinging Catfish Reproduction

Stinging catfish has a unique way of reproducing. Both parents work together to dig a hole in the mud, usually in shallow water, where they lay their eggs.

They protect the eggs and baby fish for about a month until they can take care of themselves.

Stinging Catfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Heteropneustes fossilis
Also Known As:Stinging Catfish, Fossil Cat
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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