Cat fish

Binomical Name:  Siluriformes or Nematognathi

Kingdom:: Animalia

Phylum:    Chordata

Class:   Actinopterygii

Superorder:  Ostariophysi

Order:   Siluriformes

Bengali name :Aur mach or Air mach

Habitat:

Extant catfish species live inland or in coastal waters of every continent except Antarctica. Catfish have inhabited all continents at one time or another.  Catfish are most diverse in tropical South America, Asia and Africa with one family native to North America and one family in Europe.  More than half of all catfish species live in the Americas. They are the only ostariophysans that have entered freshwater habitats in Madagascar, Australia, and New Guinea.

They are found in freshwater environments, though most inhabit shallow, running water.  Representatives of at least eight families are hypogean (live underground) with three families that are also troglobitic (inhabiting caves).  One such species is Phreatobius cisternarum, known to live underground in phreatic habitats.  Numerous species from the families Ariidae and Plotosidae, and a few species from among the Aspredinidae and Bagridae, are found in salt water.

In the Southern United States, catfish species may be known by a variety of slang names, such as “mud cat”, “polliwogs”, or “chuckleheads”.  These nicknames are not standardized, so one area may call a bullhead catfish by the nickname “chucklehead”, while in another state or region, that nickname refers to the blue catfish.

Description:

Catfishs  are a diverse group of ray-finned fish. Named for their prominent barbels, which resemble a cat’s whiskers, catfish range in size and behavior from the three largest species, the Mekong giant catfish from Southeast Asia, the wels catfish of Eurasia and the piraíba of South America, to detritivores (species that eat dead material on the bottom), and even to a tiny parasitic species commonly called the candiru, Vandellia cirrhosa. There are armour-plated types and there are also naked types, neither having scales. Despite their name, not all catfish have prominent barbels. Members of the Siluriformes order are defined by features of the skull and swimbladder. Catfish are of considerable commercial importance; many of the larger species are farmed or fished for food. Many of the smaller species, particularly the genus Corydoras, are important in the aquarium hobby. Many catfish are nocturnal,but others (many Auchenipteridae) are crepuscular or diurnal (most Loricariidae or Callichthyidae, for example).

Catfish have one of the greatest ranges in size within a single order of bony fish.   Many catfish have a maximum length of under 12 cm.  Some of the smallest species of Aspredinidae and Trichomycteridae reach sexual maturity at only 1 centimetre (0.39 in).

The wels catfishSilurus glanis, and the much smaller related Aristotle’s catfish are the only catfish indigenous to Europe: the former ranging throughout Europe, and the latter restricted to GreeceMythology and literature record wels catfish of astounding proportions, yet to be proven scientifically. The average size of the species is about 1.2–1.6 m (3.9–5.2 ft), and fish more than 2 metres (6.6 ft) are rare. However, they are known to exceed 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) in length and 100 kilograms (220 lb) in weight. In July 2009, a catfish weighing 88 kilograms (194 lb) was caught in the River Ebro, Spain, by an 11-year-old British schoolgirl.

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In North America the largest Ictalurus furcatus (Blue catfish) caught in the Missouri River on 20 July 2010, weighed 59 kilograms (130 lb). The largest flathead catfishPylodictis olivaris, ever caught was in Independence, Kansas, weighing 56 kilograms (123 lb).

These records pale in comparison to a giant Mekong catfish caught in northern Thailand on 1 May 2005 and reported to the press almost 2 months later that weighed 293 kilograms (646 lb). This is the largest giant Mekong catfish caught since Thai officials started keeping records in 1981.[26] This species is not well studied since it lives in developing countries and it is quite possible it can grow even larger.[citation needed] Also in Asia, Jeremy Wade caught a 75.5 kilograms (166.4 lb) Goonch following three fatal attacks on humans in the Kali River on the IndiaNepal border. Wade was of the opinion that the offending fish must have been significantly larger than this to have taken an 18-year-old boy as well as a water buffalo.

Piraíba (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum) can grow exceptionally large and are native to the Amazon basin. They can occasionally grow to 400 lbs, as evidenced by numerous catches.

In many catfish, the humeral process is a bony process extending backward from the pectoral girdle immediately above the base of the pectoral fin. It lies beneath the skin where its outline may be determined by dissecting the skin or probing with a needle.

The retina of catfish are composed of single cones and large rods. Many catfish have a tapetum lucidum which may help enhance photon capture and increase low-light sensitivity. Double cones, though present in most teleosts, are absent from catfish.

The anatomical organization of the testis in catfish is variable among the families of catfish, but the majority of them present fringed testis: Ictaluridae, Claridae, Auchenipteridae, Doradidae, Pimelodidae, and Pseudopimelodidae.   In the testes of some species of Siluriformes, organs and structures such as a spermatogenic cranial region and a secretory caudal region are observed, in addition to the presence of seminal vesicles in the caudal region.[30] The total number of fringes and their length are different in the caudal and cranial portions between species.   Fringes of the caudal region may present tubules, in which the lumen is filled by secretion and spermatozoa.  Spermatocysts are formed from cytoplasmic extensions of Sertoli cells; the release of spermatozoa is allowed by breaking of the cyst walls.[29]

The occurrence of seminal vesicles, in spite of their interspecific variability in size, gross morphology and function, has not been related to the mode of fertilization. They are typically paired, multi-chambered, and connected with the sperm duct, and have been reported to play a glandular and a storage function. Seminal vesicle secretion may include steroids and steroid glucuronides, with hormonal and pheromonal functions, but it appears to be primarily constituted of mucoproteins, acid mucopolysaccharides, and phospholipids.

Fish ovaries may be of two types: gymnovarian or cystovarian. In the first type, the oocytes are released directly into the coelomic cavity and then eliminated. In the second type, the oocytes are conveyed to the exterior through the oviduct.   Many catfish are cystovarian in type, including Pseudoplatystoma corruscans, P. fasciatum, Lophiosilurus alexandri, and Loricaria lentiginos

Edible Uses:

Cat fish as Food :

Catfish have widely been caught and farmed for food for hundreds of years in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Judgments as to the quality and flavor vary, with some food critics considering catfish excellent to eat, while others dismiss them as watery and lacking in flavor.[42] Catfish is high in vitamin D.[43] Farm-raised catfish contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a much higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids.

In Central Europe, catfish were often viewed as a delicacy to be enjoyed on feast days and holidays. Migrants from Europe and Africa to the United States brought along this tradition, and in the Southern United States, catfish is an extremely popular food.

The most commonly eaten species in the United States are the channel catfish and the blue catfish, both of which are common in the wild and increasingly widely farmed. Farm-raised catfish became such a staple of the diet of the United States that on 25 June 1987, President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognize “the value of farm-raised catfish.”

Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways. In Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is popularly crumbed with cornmeal and fried.

Catfish have widely been caught and farmed for food for hundreds of years in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Judgments as to the quality and flavor vary, with some food critics considering catfish excellent to eat, while others dismiss them as watery and lacking in flavor. Catfish is high in vitamin D.   Farm-raised catfish contains low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and a much higher proportion of omega-6 fatty acids.

In Central Europe, catfish were often viewed as a delicacy to be enjoyed on feast days and holidays. Migrants from Europe and Africa to the United States brought along this tradition, and in the Southern United States, catfish is an extremely popular food.

The most commonly eaten species in the United States are the channel catfish and the blue catfish, both of which are common in the wild and increasingly widely farmed. Farm-raised catfish became such a staple of the diet of the United States that on 25 June 1987, President Ronald Reagan established National Catfish Day to recognize “the value of farm-raised catfish.”

Catfish is eaten in a variety of ways. In Europe it is often cooked in similar ways to carp, but in the United States it is popularly crumbed with cornmeal and fried.

Health Benefits of Catfish:

Many people enjoy the flavor of catfish, but it offers a variety of health benefits as well. Including the nutritious fish in your diet helps you meet your protein needs and boosts your intake of vitamins and healthy fats and fatty acids. Consider catfish regularly in your meal planning.

Low in Calories and Fat

A 3-oz. serving of catfish introduces 122 calories and 6.1 g of fat into your diet. The low amount of calories in this fish make it a popular choice for a healthy meal plan – women generally require approximately 300 to 500 calories per meal, and men need around 400 to 600 calories, so it fits in well and allows you to serve several healthy side dishes with it. The fat content is also relatively low, and little of it is saturated fat — 2 g. Avoid consuming more than 16 to 22 g of saturated fat per day; too much in your diet can trigger health problems.

Contains Healthy Fatty Acids

Eating catfish is a tasty way to boost your intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. One serving of this fish provides 220 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 875 mg of omega-6. You will not find federal guidelines on the consumption of these fatty acids, although the American Heart Association suggests including fish in your diet several times each week to increase the amount of fatty acids you eat. Both of these nutrients play a part in heart and cognitive health.

Provides Complete Protein

The 15.6 g of protein in a serving of catfish provides you with all of the amino acids your body needs. This high-quality, complete protein helps your body build lean muscle mass, and it also helps improve the effectiveness of your immune function. You may also rely on protein to provide energy, especially if your body has used all of the carbohydrates you have eaten for fuel.

Source of Vitamin B-12

Consume a serving of catfish, and you take in 40 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin B-12. As a B vitamin, the vitamin B-12 in catfish is critical to aiding your body in the breakdown of the foods you eat into usable energy, but this vitamin has other functions as well. Without enough vitamin B-12 in your diet, your nerve function suffers, and you might become lethargic.

Low in Mercury

Almost all fish contains mercury, a contaminant that may impact your nervous system, but you may safely eat catfish unless the waters in which it is caught are particularly high in mercury. The Environmental Protection Agency lists catfish as one of the mostly commonly consumed, low-mercury fish. Despite this, limiting your consumption of fish to 12 oz. per week is recommended to decrease your exposure. This is especially important if you are pregnant, since high levels of mercury may harm your fetus.

Medicinal Uses:

Venomous Persian Gulf catfish excrete a gel-like slime that dramatically speeds the healing of cuts and might spur development of a new preparation to treat wounded humans, a UC Davis researcher believes.

Economic Importance:

Catfish are easy to farm in warm climates, leading to inexpensive and safe food at local grocers. About 60% of U.S. farm-raised catfish are grown within a 65-mile (100-km) radius of Belzoni, Mississippi.

Catfish raised in inland tanks or channels are considered safe for the environment, since their waste and disease should be contained and not spread to the wild.

In Asia, many catfish species are important as food. Several walking catfish (Clariidae) and shark catfish (Pangasiidae) species are heavily cultured in Africa and Asia. Exports of one particular shark catfish species from Vietnam, Pangasius bocourti, has met with pressures from the U.S. catfish industry. In 2003, The United States Congress passed a law preventing the imported fish from being labeled as catfish.[40] As a result, the Vietnamese exporters of this fish now label their products sold in the U.S. as “basa fish.” Trader Joe’s has labeled frozen fillets of Vietnamese Pangasius hypophthalmus as “striper.”

There is a large and growing ornamental fish trade, with hundreds of species of catfish, such as Corydoras and armored suckermouth catfish (often called plecos), being a popular component of many aquaria. Other catfish commonly found in the aquarium trade are banjo catfish, talking catfish, and long-whiskered catfish.

Known Hazards:
A sting from the striped eel catfish, Plotosus lineatus, may be fatal.
While the vast majority of catfish are harmless to humans, a few species are known to present some risk. Many catfish species have “stings” (actually non-venomous in most cases) embedded behind their fins; thus precautions must be taken when handling them.

Resources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfish

https://www.livestrong.com/article/445658-health-benefits-of-catfish/

http://articles.latimes.com/1988-01-18/local/me-24500_1_saltwater-catfish

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