This Majestic Fish
The wide diversity of Catfish around the world, in terms of size and behaviour, makes it possible for Catfish to have numerous predators around the world. Be it birds, amphibians or more prominently the large fishes, all of them prey on large variety of catfish.
Talking about the reproduction process of the Catfish, the female partner lays somewhere between 10 to 100 eggs at a time usually. These eggs generally hatch in about a week or even lesser time in certain circumstances. Most of the species of Catfish are egg-laying only. The parental care though varies from species to species. For example, brown bullhead catfish generally builds nests and guard their young ones.
Catfish are found to be carnivorous. Although, by the virtue of existing in large number of varieties, it is quite evident that some of these species actually ingest small aquatic plants as well. In the flesh category, Catfish feeds on other small fishes, insects, and worms that normally close to the river bed. Amphibians such as frogs, newts, some reptiles and mammals are also preyed upon.
A lot has been talked about certain species of Catfish becoming endangered in last few years. Talk about the Mekong Giant catfish which generally grows upto 2 metres in length and almost 650 pounds in weight, its population has reduced by as much as 95% in the past century. Their natural habitat has been Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, but now due to overfishing, dam building and habitat destruction, their numbers have come down steeply.
Within US, the three most important Catfish species are the Blue Cat, Channel and Flathead. The bluecat catfish is the biggest of all followed by Flathead closely. Channel catfish on the other hand is the most common catfish in the United States.
One most important trend with Catfish around the world is that these fishes are known by their local names in different areas. As much as, sometimes just a difference of one hundred kilometres and you’ll find the same species being called by a different name.