This is the most commonly seen species of its genus, probably as a result of the production of albino specimens (primarily for the food fish industry). The species’ name punctatus comes from the Latin, meaning “little spots,” and refers to the dark spots scattered along the sides of the Channel Catfish. The adult coloration is pale gray to olive on the back and white to yellowish on the underside.
Other common names
- Graceful Catfish, Stinging Catfish, Spotted Catfish
- Widely distributed in North America and introduced elsewhere.
- Up to 47 1/4in (120cm), but usually considerably smaller.
- Predatory; must not be housed with tankmates that are small enough to be swallowed.
- Live fish preferred (a factor that requires consideration prior to purchase), but other chunky livefoods and commercial diets may be accepted.
- Large, well filtered. Substantial decor, e.g. bogwood, must be provided. Water chemistry not critical. Temperature range: from 50-86 F (10-30 C).
- Challenging. Eggs are laid in a depression and guarded by the spawners, which also care for the fry for a short time after hatching; eggs may also be laid in caves or under rocks and be guarded by male.