These elongate and small eel or worm-like catfishes are totally naked. They have small eyes placed on the top of their heads. Some species posses erectile spines on their gill plates. Only 2 of the 30 or so genera are truly parasitic.
Although a fairly large family found in areas where commercial exporting is established, these fish are rarely collected for sale. The most commonly encountered name is their local name, 'Candiru'.
Smallest 12mm, largest 300mm, average 70mm, most commonly 60mm. All SL.
There are 51 species in 21 genera in the database
11 species (21%) are being kept by registered keepers