Eeltail catfish

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Eeltail catfish
Euristhmus microceps.png
Euristhmus microceps
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Superfamily: Siluroidea
Family: Plotosidae
Bleeker, 1858


Striped eel catfish, Plotosus lineatus

The eeltail catfish are a family (Plotosidae) of catfish whose tails are elongated in an eel-like fashion. These catfishes are native to the Indian Ocean and western Pacific from Japan to Australia and Fiji.[1] The family includes about 41 species in 10 genera.[1][2] About half of the species are freshwater, occurring in Australia and New Guinea.[1]

These fish have eel-like bodies. Their tails are pointed or bluntly rounded. Most species have four pairs of barbels. The adipose fin is absent. The tail fin is formed by the joining of the second dorsal fin, the caudal fin, and the anal fin, forming a single, continuous fin.[1]

Some of these catfishes can inflict painful wounds; stings from Plotosus lineatus may result in death.[1] They are bottom feeders and use the barbels around their mouths to detect food.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Nelson, Joseph S. (2006). Fishes of the World. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-25031-7.
  2. ^ Ferraris, Carl J., Jr. (2007). "Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1418: 1–628. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Plotosidae" in FishBase. Aug 2007 version.