Wels Catfish

The Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis) is a large freshwater fish in the Siluridae family of catfish. It is also called the Sheatfish. 

The Wels Catfish has a camouflaged colour similar to its environment, from black to greenish-brown. Its underbelly is whitish-yellow. It has a broad, flat head and a wide mouth. It has two long barbels (whisker-like flesh) at the corners of its upper jaw and four shorter barbels on its lower jaw. It has three or four rows of small teeth.

Wels Catfish

It grows to 130-500 centimetres (50-197 inches) long.

It is found in waters around central, southern, and eastern Europe in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea. It likes warm, large, deep lakes with slow-flowing water. It likes to live in sheltered locations, such as sunken trees and holes. 

It eats worms, snails, insects, crabs, and fish. It is benthic, feeding on the bottom of the ocean. It makes a whirlpool to confuse its prey and swallows them whole.

It is nocturnal, because it is most active at night. 

The Wels Catfish swims like an eel. It can swim backwards.

The female lays more than 30,000 eggs. The male guards the nest until the eggs hatch. The eggs hatch after 3-10 days. 

It lives, on average, for 50 years.

Wels Catfish
Wels Catfish

Location of photographs: Tbilisi Museum of Natural History, Georgia

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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