Freshwater catfish, Tandanus tandanus Click to enlarge image
Freshwater catfish, Tandanus tandanus Image: Sally Reader
© Australian Museum

Fast Facts

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

Introduction

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

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.



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.



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.