Classification / Names
Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Ictaluridae
(North American freshwater catfishes)
Etymology: Ameiurus: Greek, a = without + Greek, meiouros, -os, -on = without tail (Ref. 45335); melas: melas meaning black (Ref. 1998).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.5 - 8.0; dH range: 4 - 25; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 10 - ? m. Temperate; 8°C - 30°C (Ref. 2059); 52°N - 26°N
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 66.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 26.6 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 3.6 kg (Ref. 4699); max. reported age: 10 years (Ref. 12193)
North America: Great Lakes to northern Mexico. Confusion over the taxonomic status of this species together with Ameiurus nebulosus resulted in more doubts as to which of the two is present in some countries. In Europe it forms dense stunted populations which makes it unpopular. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Inhabits pools, backwaters, and sluggish current over soft substrates in creeks and small to large rivers; impoundments, oxbows, and ponds. Nocturnal feeder, young consume immature insects, leeches, and crustaceans while adults also feed on clams, snails, plant material, and fishes (Ref. 1998, 9669, 10294). Edible (Ref. 1998). Are susceptible of being caught, where they are abundant, with baited lines intended for other species. Is considered a nuisance (Ref. 30578). Often misidentified as A. nebulosus (Ref. 59043).
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 p.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00933 (0.00707 - 0.01231), b=3.10 (3.02 - 3.18), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tmax=10; Assuming tm=3).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (50 of 100) .