Temporal range: 56–0 Ma Eocene to Recent
Large bagrids are important as food fish. Some species are kept as aquarium fishes.
The dorsal fin is preceded by a spine. The adipose fin is present and can have a relatively long base in some species. The pectoral fin spine can be serrated. The body is completely naked (they have no scales). The maximum length is about 1.5 m (4.9 ft). Fishes of the Bagridae family have four pairs of well-developed barbels covered by a layer of taste bud-enriched epithelium.
The taxonomy of this family has changed rapidly. Nelson (2006) comments how "the family is very different from that recognized in Nelson (1994)". Claroteidae and Austroglanididae contain species that were previously bagrids. Auchenoglanididae is considered by some sources to be a subfamily of Claroteidae and by others to be its own family, sister to Heptapteridae.
It is unclear whether or not the family is monophyletic, and what its relationship to other catfishes might be.
- Ferraris, C.J.Jr. (2007). "Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types" (PDF). Zootaxa, 1418: 1–628.
- Ng, H.H., Hadiaty, R.K., Lundberg, J.G. & Luckenbill, K.R. (2015): A new genus and species of bagrid catfish from northern Sumatra (Siluriformes: Bagridae). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 164 (1): 149-157.
- Nelson, J.S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7.
- Zhang, G.-H., Deng, S.-P., Zhang, H.-Y., Li, H.-T. & Li, L.-L. (2006). "Distribution of different taste buds and expression of a-gustducin in the barbells of yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco)". Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, 32 (1): 55–62.
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