Animal Species:Freshwater Catfish, Tandanus tandanus (Mitchell, 1838)

The Freshwater Catfishis brown to olive green, reddish or even purplish above, and pale below. The species is endemic to Australia.

Freshwater Catfish, Tandanus tandanus

Sally Reader © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Freshwater Catfish

Alternative Name/s

Catfish, Cattie, Dewfish, Eel-tail Freshwater Catfish, Eel-tailed Catfish, Jewfish, Kenaru, Tandan Catfish

Identification

The Freshwater Catfish has a short first dorsal fin and an eel-like tail. The second dorsal fin originates above the middle of the body. The first dorsal fin and pectoral fins are each preceded by a sharp serrated spine. The down-turned mouth is surrounded by four pairs of barbels. It has no scales. The species is brown to olive green, reddish or even purplish above, and pale below. Juveniles have dark brown to black mottling.

Size range

The species grows to 90 cm in length but is more commonly seen up to 45 cm. It weighs up to 7 kg.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia. It occurs throughout much of the Murray-Darling River drainage and in coastal drainages from northern Queensland to central New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Tandanus tandanus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Freshwater Catfish specimens in the Australian Museums.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
tandanus
Genus:
Tandanus
Family:
Plotosidae
Order:
Siluriformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. T.F.H. Publications. Pp. 240.
  2. Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & M. Allen. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 394.
  3. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  4. Pollard, D.A., Davis, T.L.O. & L.C. Llewellyn in McDowall, R.M. 1996. Freshwater Fishes of South-Eastern Australia. Reed Books. Pp. 247.
  5. Merrick, J.R. & G.E. Schmida. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes. Biology and Management. John R. Merrick. Pp. 409.

 


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, Freshwater Catfish, Tandanus tandanus, Plotosidae, olive green, purple, red, endemic to Australia, pale underside, Catfish, Cattie, Dewfish, Eel-tail Freshwater Catfish, Eel-tailed Catfish, Jewfish, Kenaru, Tandan Catfish, eel-like tail, down-turned mouth, brown, bloctches/mottled, 30 cm - 1 m, Murray-Darling River, coastal drainage,

2 comments

Rebecca Field - 8.08 AM, 30 August 2011

Hi melc, Mark here (not Rebecca). Thank you for your comment.  Unfortunately I cannot view your attached file.  Can you please email it to me at mark.mcgrouther@austmus.gov.au. 

melc - 4.08 PM, 29 August 2011
We live in southern Victoria and we believe we may have seen a dead snub nosed eel tailed catfish. We have looked at many on line pics and this looks exactly like what we saw, has anyone else heard of this fish before

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