Heteropneustes fossilis

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Heteropneustes fossilis
Heteropneustes fossilis.jpg
Saccobranchus fossilis Day Suzini 114.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Heteropneustidae
Genus: Heteropneustes
Species: H. fossilis
Binomial name
Heteropneustes fossilis
(Bloch, 1794)

The Asian stinging catfish or fossil cat, Heteropneustes fossilis, is a species of airsac catfish found in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Myanmar. In India in the state of Kerala it is locally called as kadu (Malayalam:kadu ) or "karri" (Malayalam:karri). It is highly preferred in Assam and locally known as singhi. In Bangladesh this fish is called Shing Mach,[1] In Sri Lanka, this fish is called hunga[2] by the Sinhala-speaking community.

H. fossilis is found mainly in ponds, ditches, swamps, and marshes, but sometimes occurs in muddy rivers. It can tolerate slightly brackish water. It is omnivorous. This species breeds in confined waters during the monsoon months, but can breed in ponds, derelict ponds, and ditches when sufficient rain water accumulates. It is in great demand due to its medicinal value.[3]

The stinging catfish is able to deliver a painful sting to humans. Poison from a gland on its pectoral fin spine has been known to be extremely painful.

This species grows to a length of 30 cm (12 in) TL and is an important component of local commercial fisheries. It is also farmed and found in the aquarium trade.[3]


  1. ^ [1],
  2. ^ List of Freshwater Fish of Sri Lanka
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2011). "Heteropneustes fossilis" in FishBase. December 2011 version.