Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Plotosidae
Etymology: Plotosus: Greek, plotos = swimming (Ref. 45335). More on author: Hamilton.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical
Indo-West Pacific: west and south coasts of India and off Sri Lanka eastward along the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar, through the Indo-Australian Archipelago and the Philippines as far as Papua New Guinea.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3478); common length : 80.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3478)
A plain dusky-brown species with a black dorsal fin tip. Shows banded pattern at night. Distinguished from adult Plotosus lineatus by its long barbels on the nostrils that can reach pass the eyes.
Adults found mostly in estuaries and lagoons, and sometimes up rivers in nearly fresh waters. They occur in the lower parts of rivers in freshwater or brackish water and in coastal seas (Ref. 12693, 48635). Juveniles may occur in dense aggregations (Ref. 9801). Feed on crustaceans, mollusks and fishes. Marketed mostly fresh. Spines associated with anterior fins have potent venom.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Gomon, J.R., 1984. Plotosidae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 3. (Ref. 3478)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.1 - 29.1, mean 28.3 °C (based on 1244 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00247 - 0.00973), b=3.02 (2.84 - 3.20), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.9 ±0.61 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Very Low, minimum population doubling time more than 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .