Cat-eLog Right Arrow Bagridae Right Arrow Mystus

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Scientific NameMystus gulio  (Hamilton, 1822)
Common NamesLong Whiskers Catfish
Langskægget Pigmalle (Denmark)
Type LocalityHigher parts of Gangetic estuaries.
Synonym(s)Aspidobagrus gulio, Bagrus albilabrus, Bagrus gulio, Macrones gulio, Pimelodus gulio, Pseudobagrus gulio
Pronunciationmiss tuss - goo LEE oh
EtymologyThe generic name is probably derived from the Latin mystax, meaning moustache, in reference to the long barbels. It was first used by Scopoli in 1777 making it a very old genus that has included many catfishes from throughout the world at one time or another. From the local (Bengali) name of the fish (guli).
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 400mm or 15.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationFishes of the genus Mystus Scopoli are small to medium-sized bagrid catfishes occurring in South Asia. Roberts (1994) recognized Mystus to have an elongate cranial fontanel reaching up to the base of the occipital process, long maxillary barbel, very long adipose fin, 11–30 gill rakers on the first gill arch and 37–46 total vertebrae, about equally divided between abdominal and caudal regions. He included only eight species under the genus. Mo (1991) characterized the genus to have a thin needle-like first infraorbital, twisted and thickened metapterygoid loosely attached to the quadrate by means of ligament or a small extent of cartilage. Jayaram & Sanyal (2003) and Ferraris (2007) respectively listed 44 and 33 species of Mystus as valid.

Easily characterized by its dull-colored body and very short adipose fin.
There are several species currently identified as M. gulio: the true M. gulio is an Indian species that grows much larger than those from Southeast Asia, and is a more greenish (vs. grayish) color.
SexingMales have an elongate genital papilla in front of the anal fin.
General RemarksPrimarily a brackish water fish that enters and lives in fresh water. In freshwater, it occurs mainly in larger water bodies (rivers and streams) with mud or clay substrates, and rarely found in smaller streams.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionIndia. The species identified as M. gulio from Southeast Asia is thought to be a different species.
Indian waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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IUCN Red List StatusLeast Concern
pH6.0 - 7.8
Temperature20.0-27.0°C or 68-80.6°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersPrefers brackish water.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingEasily adapts to a wide variety of frozen and prepared food in the aquarium. May eat very small fish.
FurnitureThe tank should be furnished with ample driftwood and rocks.
CompatibilityCompatible with most fishes, although very small fishes will be eaten. Ideal tankmates include larger barbs and rasboras in an Asian biotope setup or an Asian brackish water setup with archerfishes and gobies.

A social fish that is found in schools of 10-25 individuals in the wild.
BreedingNot reported.
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesFishes Ganges - pp201, 379 - Pl. 23 (fig. 66)
Registered Keepers(1) yellowcat, who also notes: "Extremely slow growing species... Since 2004 had two but lost one, survivor is now @ 7" TL", (2) Shovelnose, who also notes: "The greediest Mystus I have ever kept. More of an open swimmer. Never seen it trying to hide. Will eat anything. Collected specimens from both fresh and brackish water. Care level for both the same. Easy fish to handle.".

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Breeding ReportsNone.
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Last Update2011 Aug 31 07:19 (species record created: 2003 May 29 00:00)