Article © Shane Linder, uploaded January 01, 2002.
Unfortunately, the amount of material in print on the catfishes of the Indian subcontinent is sparse in comparison to other areas of the world. The books and papers below, however, will provide the aquarist with useful identification and natural habitat information.
"The Freshwater Fishes of India: A Handbook"
K. C. Jayaram (Zoological Survey of India: 1981)
Although completely lacking color plates and often sparse even in line drawings, this is a must have book for the aquarist interested in Indian catfishes. A key to each family and genus is provided along with range information.
"Aid to the Identification of the Siluroid Fishes of India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh"
K. C. Jayaram (Zoological Survey of India Miscellaneous Publication Occaisional Papers)
This is a actually a series of papers published by Jayaram through the Zoological survey. The entire set is an absolute must have for anyone interested in the catfishes of the area. Keys are given to each genus and for each species there is information on: Diagnostic Characteristics, Size, Color, Distrubition, Fishery Value, Type Specimen, and Remarks.
"Freshwater Fishes of Sri Lanka"
Rohan Pethiyagoda (Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri Lanka: 1991)
This beautiful book is certainly the best of its kind ever published. There are great color photographs of every catfish species covered. Even better yet, all of the catfishes are alive and in true colors. For every fish the following information is listed: Identification, Secondary Sexual Characteristics, Size, Habitat, Breeding, Adaptability, Diet, Distribution, Where to collect the fish, Status, and Utility. Did I mention all of the gorgeous natural habitat photos and range maps? This is the "Fishes of..." book that all others should attempt to emulate.
"Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries"
P. K. Talwar & A. G. Jhingran (A. A. Balkema/ Rotterdam: 1992)
This multi-volume set is basically an update of Jayaram's earlier work. In fact, the catfish line drawings can all be found in Jayaram's original book with very few exceptions. The information is just a rehash of the two Jayaram papers above. The good news, a much needed new fishes of India-type book. The bad news, I am not sure that anything was updated. The series is not inexpensive and thus I can only recommend it to the most serious collector that must have every book on the topic.
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