Plotosus lineatus   (Thunberg,  1787) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, JE

Size: 25-36 cm.

Color: Body chestnut brown with 2 or 3 pale lateral bands, the superior one from above eyes along base of dorsal fin and the lower band from maxilla along middle of side of body; bands said to disappear with age. Vertical fins black edged. Dendretic organs yellow brown.

Body elongate, its depth 6.2 to 7.5 times in standard length. Mouth transverse, with thick and papillose lips. Four pairs of mouth barbels. Nasal barbels do not extend beyond eyes. Maxillary extends slightly beyond posterior margin of eyes, outer mandibulars to gill opening, and inner mandibular shorter. Two dorsal fins; the first dorsal short, the second with 80 to 100 soft rays. Anal fin with 58 to 82 rays. Caudal fin bluntly pointed. Dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin. A single highly venomous serrate spine at the beginning of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins. Dorsal spines (total): 1-1, Dorsal soft rays (total): 85-105, Anal spines: 0, Anal soft rays: 70-81.

Fertilization external. Oviparous, with demersal eggs and plank tonic larvae.

This is the only catfish found in coral reefs. The highly venomous serrate spine of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins are dangerous, and even fatal in rare cases.
Juveniles form dense ball-shaped schools of about 100 fish and are found over reefs and seagrass beds; adults are solitary or occur in smaller groups of around 20 and are known to hide under ledges during the day. Searches and stirs the sand incessantly for crustaceans, molluscs, worms and sometimes fish.

Synonym (s)
Arius thalassinus (non Ruppell, 1829)
Plotosus brevibarbus Bessednov, 1967
Plotosus ikapor Lesson, 1831
Plotosus marginatus Anonymous [Bennett], 1830
Plotosus marginatus Bennett, 1830
Silurus arab Forsskal, 1775
(Junior synonym)
Arius thalassinus (non Rüppell, 1829)
(Misapplied name)
Platystacus anguillaris Bloch, 1794
(Junior synonym)
Plotoseus ikapor Lesson, 1831
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus anguillaris (Bloch, 1794)
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus arab Bleeker, 1862
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus brevibarbus (non Bessednov, 1967)
(Misapplied name)
Plotosus castaneoides Bleeker, 1851
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus castaneus Valenciennes, 1840
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus flavolineatus Whitley, 1941
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus limbatus (non Valenciennes, 1840)
(Misapplied name)
Plotosus lineatus Valenciennes, 1840
(Ambiguous synonym)
Plotosus marginatus [Bennett], 1830
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus thunbergianus Lacepede, 1803
(Junior synonym)
Plotosus vittatus Swainson, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Silurus lineatus Thunberg, 1787
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Striped Catfish (English)
• Kandhia (Bengali)
• Striped Catfish Eel (English)
• Striped Eel Catfish (English)
• Schinghala (Kannada)
• Moorghee (Malayalam)
• Choomgan (Malayalam)
• Kalan (Marathi)
• Kadal Changuan (Tamil)
• Kanja Kalutti (Tamil)
• Balchat (Kannada)
• Varichundan Mushi (Malayalam)
• Orathal (Malayalam)
• Mench (Marathi)
• Ulupathi (Tamil)
• Oolpathy (Tamil)
• Irrwa (Telugu)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, aquarium, Venomous)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and sometimes fish
Predator:  Platycephalus indicus ( Family: Platycephalidae)


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Goa, Marmagao Bay INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Maharashtra, Amba Estuary INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Kerala INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Off Visakhapatnam (Lat: 17.73) (Long: 83.55) INDIA (Record: 04/1989-03/1990) (Depth: 50 mts)
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 6.75) (Long: 92.16) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 13.75) (Long: 94.25) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Rama Rao, KV (1995) Pisces Wetland ecosystem series 1: Fauna of Chilika lake ZSI, Calcutta 483-506 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Zoological Survey of India (Eds) (1991) Animal resources of India (Protozoa to Mammalia) ZSI 1-694 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Jayaram, KC (1982) Aid to the identification of the siluroid fishes of India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh: Ariidae and Plotosidae Occasional paper no 37 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 14977 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Balasubramanian, T Lagoons of India Environmental Information System Centre, Envis Publication Series: 3/2001 105 pp Available at -
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Gajbhiye, SN; Mehta, P; Mustafa, S and Nair, VR (1995) A case study on the impact of industrial effluents disposal on the fisheries of Amba river estuary, Maharastra Journal of the Indian Fisheries Association Indian Fisheries Association 25 25-38 Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51) FAO, Rome 3 Available at -
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajaram, R and Nedumaran, T (2009) Ichthyofaunal diversity in great Nicobar biosphere reserve, Bay of Bengal Journal of Threatened Taxa Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society 1(3) 166-169 Available at -
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Mishra, SS; Chakrabarty, M; Kar, S and Gopi, KC (2010) Catfish diversity of west Bengal, India Journal of Environment and Sociobiology Social Environmental and Biological Association, Kolkata, India 7(2) 189-194 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Sujatha, K (1995) Finfish constituents of trawl by-catch off Visakhapatnam Fishery Technology Society of Fisheries Technologists 32(1) 56-60 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Das, P; De, SP; Bhowmik, RM; Pandit, IK; Sengupta, R; Nandi, AC; Thakurta, SC and Saha, S (2007) Piscine diversity of West Bengal Fishing chimes 27(5) 15-28 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Roy, SD; Rajan, PT and Soundararajan, S (2006) Marine food fishes of Andaman and Nicobar islands Fishing Chimes 25(10) 108-110 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2012-01-24

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