Plotosus lineatus, Striped eel catfish : fisheries, aquarium

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Plotosus lineatus (Thunberg, 1787)

Striped eel catfish
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Plotosus lineatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Plotosus lineatus (Striped eel catfish)
Plotosus lineatus
Picture by Randall, J.E.

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

Teleostei (teleosts) > Siluriformes (Catfishes) > Plotosidae (Eeltail catfishes)
Etymology: Plotosus: Greek, plotos = swimming (Ref. 45335).

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

Marine; brackish; reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 1 - 60 m (Ref. 37816). Tropical; 38°N - 35°S, 20°E - 169°W

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

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, north to southern Japan, southern Korea, and the Ogasawara Islands, south to Australia and Lord Howe Island. Palau and Yap in Micronesia (Ref. 1602). Sometimes enters freshwaters of East Africa (Lake Malawi) and Madagascar (Ref. 3879). First record in the Mediterranean (Ref. 123740),

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 16.9  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 32.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3478); max. reported age: 7 years (Ref. 240)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 69-115; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 58 - 82. This species has the dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin; with 4 pairs of mouth barbels; and a single highly venomous serrate spine at the beginning of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins (Ref. 1602).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Coastal benthic (Ref. 68964). The only catfish found in coral reefs. Also found in estuaries, tide pools and open coasts. Juveniles form dense ball-shaped schools of about 100 fish; adults are solitary or occur in smaller groups of around 20 and are known to hide under ledges during the day (Ref. 1602, 5503, 12693, 37816, 48635). Adults search and stir the sand incessantly for crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and sometimes fish (Ref. 5213). Oviparous, with demersal eggs and planktonic larvae (Ref. 205). The highly venomous serrate spine of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins are dangerous, and even fatal in rare cases (Ref. 1602).

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

The male in the spawning pair constructs the nest under rocks and other large pieces of debris (Ref. 240). After spawning, the female departs while the male guards the eggs.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Taylor, W.R. and J.R. Gomon, 1986. Plotosidae. p. 160-162. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISBN, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 3879)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)


Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 4690)

Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO - Publication: search | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Aquaculture profile
Allele frequencies
Mass conversion
Stamps, Coins Misc.
Swim. type
Gill area


Special reports

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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 | DORIS | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome, nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases |
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