Cat-eLog Right Arrow Siluridae Right Arrow Silurus

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameSilurus glanis  Linnaeus, 1758
Common Name(s)European Catfish
Sheatfish, Wels
Type LocalityOrient, less frequently in European lakes.
Synonym(s)Silurus glanis aralensis, Silurus silurus
PronunciationSee loo russ - glare neess
EtymologyFrom the Greek silouros which is the name of the fish. Again from the Greek word glanis, which is the name of the fish
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 4900mm or 192.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationEasily distinguished among silurids by its broad head, truncate caudal fin, mottled coloration and immense size.
SexingMales are more slender and have strong serrations on the posterior edge of the pectoral spine (females lack these serrations).
General RemarksThe worlds largest catfish, the largest example of which, caught in the River Dnepr (flowing through the Ukraine into the Black Sea), was measured at 5m (16ft, 5in) long and wieghed 306kg (675lb).

In Appendix III of the Bern Convention (protected fauna). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionEastern Europe, Asia Minor, and Central Asia.
European rivers (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH6.0 - 8.0
Temperature4.0-20.0°C or 39.2-68°F (Show others within this range)
Other ParametersAble to tolerate brackish / salt water as it has been found in brackish water in the Black and Baltic Seas, and has spawned in the salt water of the Aral Sea.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingA voracious predator. Juveniles can be fed live, frozen or pelleted foods; adults can be fed live fish, frogs or baby rats. May be taught to eat strips of raw meat.
FurnitureA tankbuster that will outgrow almost any tank. Best kept in a pond. Provide large overhanging roots or pieces of driftwood as suitable hiding places.
CompatibilityGiven its voracious appetite, best kept alone. Any other tankmates will eventually end up as food.
BreedingBreeding does not occur until the water temperature reaches at least 20˚C, which is in mid-May to June to the south of its range and July to August in the north. The male excavates a redd (pit nest) in weedy gravel or sand-bottomed shallows into which the female deposits a clump of relatively large (3mm-diameter), yellow, sticky eggs. The number of eggs produced depends on the size of the female and is equivalent to 25000-30000 per kilogram of her weight.
After fertilizing the eggs, the male guards them until they hatch - usually three to four days later at temperatures of 20-21˚C. When newly hatched, larval catfish are about 7mm long and have only one barbel. They remain in the redd, guarded by the male, until their yolk sacs have been fully absorbed. They then disperse to feed on bottom-dwelling invertebrates and become piscivorous at the end of their first year (when they reach a size of 20-25 cm).
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesSystema Nat. ed. 10v. 1 - pp304
Greenhalgh, M., 1999. Freshwater Fish. Mitchell Beazley, London. 192 pp.
Registered Keepers(1) arapaima, (2) JAYcarreon, (3) featherback (k: 5), (4) Wels, who also notes: "The sole pond inhabitant! ^^ Currently 39cm long", (5) AleGer (k: 5), (6) Wiccatfish, who also notes: "Size when acquired 27", size now (October 2016) 4ft 6".", (7) Yellowpieslinger, (8) knifegill (p: 2), (9) fisheriesecology.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 16:02 (species record created: 2001 Apr 21 00:00)