Clarias batrachus, Philippine catfish : fisheries, aquaculture, aquarium

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Clarias batrachus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Philippine catfish
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes(genus, species) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Teleostei (teleosts) > Siluriformes (Catfishes) > Clariidae (Airbreathing catfishes)
Etymology: Clarias: Greek, chlaros = lively, in reference to the ability of the fish to live for a long time out of water.
More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - ? m (Ref. 2854). Tropical; 10°C - 28°C (Ref. 2060); 29°N - 7°S

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: Java, Indonesia. Clarias aff. batrachus from Indochina and Clarias aff. batrachus from Sundaland have been misidentified as Clarias batrachus from Java. Introduced elsewhere. Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 28.0  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 47.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 26.3 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 12193); max. published weight: 1.2 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 60-76; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 47 - 58. Body compressed posteriorly. Upper jaw a little projecting. Spine of pectoral fins rough on its outer edge and serrated on its inner edge (Ref. 4792). Occipital process more or less triangular, its length about 2 time in its width (Ref. 27732); distance between dorsal and occipital process 4-5.5 times in distance from tip of snout to end of occipital process (Ref. 43281). Genital papilla in males is elongated and pointed (Ref. 52012).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Facultative air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Adults inhabit lowland streams (Ref. 57235), swamps, ponds, ditches, rice paddies, and pools left in low spots after rivers have been in flood (Ref. 2854, 57235). Usually confined to stagnant, muddy water (Ref. 1479). Found in medium to large-sized rivers, flooded fields and stagnant water bodies including sluggish flowing canals (Ref. 12975). Undertake lateral migrations from the Mekong mainstream, or other permanent water bodies, to flooded areas during the flood season and returns to the permanent water bodies at the onset of the dry season (Ref. 37770). Can live out of water for quite sometime and move short distances over land (Ref. 4833). Can walk and leave the water to migrate to other water bodies using its auxiliary breathing organs. The Lao use this fish as lap pa or ponne pa. Feed on insect larvae, earthworms, shells, shrimps, small fish, aquatic plants and debris (Ref. 6459). An important food fish (Ref. 4833) that is marketed live, fresh and frozen (Ref. 9987). Recently rare, being replaced by introduced African walking catfish (Ref. 57235).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

The pair manifests the 'spawning embrace' which is widely observed in other catfish species (Ref. 33313). The pair gently nudge each other in the genital region and flick their dorsal fins; male wraps his body around the female, then the female releases a stream of adhesive eggs into the nest (Ref. 44091). In southeast Asia, spawning period is during the rainy season, when rivers rise and fish are able to excavate nests in submerged mud banks and dikes of flooded rice fields (Ref. 40977).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Rahman, A.K.A., 1989. Freshwater fishes of Bangladesh. Zoological Society of Bangladesh. Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka. 364 p. (Ref. 1479)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 130435)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 16 January 2019


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest (Ref. 4690)

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO - Aquaculture: production; Fisheries: landings; Publication: search | FishSource |

More information

Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
Mass conversion
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Swim. type
Gill area


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Internet sources

AFORO (otoliths) | Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes: genus, species | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | FAO - Aquaculture: production; Fisheries: landings; Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go, Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00912 (0.00500 - 0.01662), b=2.93 (2.78 - 3.08), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.50 se; based on food items.
Generation time: 1.5 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median ln(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.7 (in aquarium); tm=1; Fec=2,300-13,400).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (24 of 100).
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.
Nutrients (Ref. 124155):  Calcium = 45.2 [22.7, 201.2] mg/100g; Iron = 1.32 [0.83, 2.29] mg/100g; Protein = 16.7 [15.8, 17.7] %; Omega3 = 0.134 [0.067, 0.288] g/100g; Selenium = 95.9 [41.2, 218.7] μg/100g; VitaminA = 13.6 [5.6, 33.8] μg/100g; Zinc = 0.766 [0.567, 1.018] mg/100g (wet weight); based on nutrient studies.