Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; freshwater; brackish; demersal; amphidromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 27°N - 19°S, 72°E - 177°W
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 : 111 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 127983); 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). It is reported to have an extended breeding season and likely spawns in brackish water, based on optimal sperm survival at 0.9 % salinity; produces relatively few large eggs, consistent with parental care and it is possible that male fish construct nests and guard their fry (Ref. 127983), Maximum length of 150 cm TL is without actual specimen (Ref. 3478). Juveniles may occur in dense aggregations (Ref. 9801). Feed on crustaceans, mollusks and fishes. Spines associated with anterior fins have potent venom. Marketed mostly fresh.
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. 126983)
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 25.1 - 29.1, mean 28.3 °C (based on 1244 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5020 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00490 (0.00248 - 0.00968), 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
): 3.8 ±0.4 se; based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (67 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 63.2 [34.5, 108.6] mg/100g; Iron = 0.78 [0.49, 1.27] mg/100g; Protein = 16.9 [14.7, 19.1] %; Omega3 = 0.147 [0.082, 0.262] g/100g; Selenium = 81.8 [43.4, 163.8] μg/100g; VitaminA = 11.2 [5.1, 25.6] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.934 [0.684, 1.292] mg/100g (wet weight);