Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
Africa Middle East, Asia. These catfishes are rather elongated with a flattened, broad, bony head, and wide mouth. They possess four pairs of long, rather stiff barbels. They are mainly nocturnal in habit, possessing accessory respiratory organs above their gills (like the labyrinth fishes) to enable them to utilise atmospheric oxygen.
Primarily freshwater fish; oviparous; omnivorous (though large individuals are predatory on small fishes); solitary; benthic. Clarias has the anal and dorsal fins long and without spines. The pectoral fins however, have a strong spine (said to contain venom) which can inflict a nasty wound if the fishes are mishandled.
Common Walking Catfish
Ikan Keli Kayu,
Primarily freshwater fish; 55 cm. Indigenous, widespread and common. Forested, rural or disturbed streams, canals, drains, ponds, reservoirs and swamps. Tolerates slightly brackish water.
Forest Walking Catfish
Ikan Keli Hutan,
20 cm. Indigenous, endangered (?), Forest streams.
Unlike the more adaptable C. batrachus, this catfish is more or less confined to the forest. It is very similar to the Common Walking Catfish, and it is not easy to tell these two species apart in the field (see above). Clarias teijsmanni has a more squarish head, and also tends to be darker in colour, the sides often adorned with rows of white spots which tend to be more distinctive than those of C. batrachus.
Fishes in Singapore
Amazing Fishy Facts
About the guidebook
From A Guide to Common Freshwater Fishes of Singapore by Kelvin K P Lim and Peter K L Ng
Published by the Singapore Science Centre and sponsored by BP
@Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research and Singapore Science Centre