Airsac Catfish

By: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Staff (FWC)

Airsac Catfish fishing in Florida

Description: Elongate and compressed body. Head strongly depressed, with four pairs of barbels. A long air sac that extends backwards from the gill chamber functions as a lung. Short dorsal fin with no leading spine and no distinct adipose fin. Pectoral spines have poison glands that are  dangerous to humans.

Species: One genus, three species.

Range: Pakistan to Thailand.

Habitat: Rivers and ponds, mostly turbid waters.

Spawning Habitats: Not known.

Feeding Habits: Nocturnal and omnivorous.

Age and Growth: Up to one foot in length.

Potential Concerns: All members of the family Heteropneustidae are prohibited.  Sting can be dangerous to people.  Some are raised in aquaculture for food and medicinal value.

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