Arius maculatus   (Thunberg,  1792) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Mya Than Tun

Max. size: 80.0 cm TL

Color: Silvery, bluish brown above, belly and underside of head whitish. Fins yellowish, adipose fin with a large black spot.

Head shield somewhat rugose, deep, occipital process carinate, granulated, scarcely longer than broad, more or less triangular, the truncate hind border touches the semicircular granulate basal bone of the dorsal spine, and long median fontanelle groove. Strong venomous dorsal and pectoral spines provide protection for the fish. Median frontanel rather broad, beginning at the snout, narrowing behind and ending before occipital process. Humeral process triangular, granulated. Dorsal profile sloping down in a straight or slightly convex line to the bluntly rounded, slightly prominent snout. Eye 5½ (in spec. of 33cm.) with a free orbital margin, more than half length of snout and more than twice in the interorbital space. Maxillary barbels reaching on pectorals, in older specimens considerably shorter, mandibulary barbels to hind border of gill membrane, mental barbels much shorter. Height of dorsal longer than head without snout, osseous part of its spine rather strong, somewhat shorter than head without snout,with a filamentous prolongation, granulated in front, serrated behind. Base of adipose fin equal to soft part of dorsal, nearly 4 times in its distance from it, situated about above the middle of the anal, the height of which is less than the length of the ventrals, which extend at least to its origin. Pectorals about as long as postorbital part of head, osseous part of pectoral spine nearly of equal length, flattened and weakly serrated at both borders. Caudal deeply forked, with more or less rounded lobes, the upper one the longer. Villiform teeth in the jaws. Far back on the palate thick granular teeth in two separate, parallel, semi-oval patches. 14 conical, stiff, short gillrakers, longest equal to pupil.
Dorsal spines (total): 1-1, Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-7, Anal soft rays: 16-30.

Dioecious, external fertilization, bearers, external brooders. Males incubate eggs in buccal cavity. During incubation, males starve which sometimes make them resort to swallowing one or two eggs probably to maintain basal metabolism. Early hatching embryos commence feeding on inhaled particles by the female when still in possession of large yolk. Length at maturity is 38 cm

Max. age: 7 years

Synonym (s)
Arius falcarius (non Richardson, 1845)
Arius malabaricus Day, 1877
Arius maculatus (Thunberg, 1792)
(Senior synonym)
Arius thunbergi (Lacepede, 1803)
(Replacement name)
Hemipimelodus atripinnis Fowler, 1937
(Junior synonym)
Hemipimelodus bicolor Fowler, 1935
(Junior synonym)
Pimelodus thunberg Lacepede, 1803
(Replacement name)
Silurus maculatus Thunberg, 1792
(Senior synonym)
Silurus thunbergi (Lacepede, 1803)
(Replacement name)
Tachysurus maculatus (Thunberg, 1792)
(Senior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Spotted Sea Catfish (English)
• Sea Catfish (English)
• Sea Barbel (English)
• Thedu (Malayalam)
• Venkelotri (Tamil)
• Spotted Cat Fish (English)
• Keliru
• Spotted Catfish
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, marketed fresh or frozen also dried and salted. Air bladders are exported as isinglass used by the wine industry.
Cultured:  Unknown

Habitat:  Demersal, Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Amphipods, benthic copepods, crabs, ostracods, shrimps/prawns, stomatopods, debris, fish eggs/larvae, bivalves, other molluscs, other benthic invertebrates, plychaetes, other benthic crustaceans


• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Orissa, Mahanadi Estuary (Lat: 20.32) (Long: 86.75) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• Goa, Marmagao Bay INDIA
• Goa, Aguada Bay INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Kerala, Ponnani Estuary INDIA (Record: 03/1997-02/1999)
• Maharashtra, Amba Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Gujarat, Off Kandla INDIA (Record: 1986-1987)
• West Bengal, Digha Coast INDIA
• West Bengal (Lat: 21.45) (Long: 87.9) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
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  • Bijukumar, A and Sushama, S (2000) Ichthyofauna of Ponnani estuary, Kerala Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 42(1&2) 182-189 Available at - NIO, Goa
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  • 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 1 Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Whitehead, PJP (1974) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Indian Ocean - Fishing Area 57 and Western Central Pacific - Fishing Area 71 FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
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Page last updated on:2012-01-06

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