The native range of ("The Department of Fisheries Malaysia and FFRC", 2004; Elvira, 2001)is the Neartic in lower Canada and throughout the midwest of the United States. Channel catfish have been introduced in the Palearctic in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain (Elvira, 2001) as well as Malaysia (FFRC, 2004).
Channel catfish can live in both fresh and salt water and brackish water yet they are generally found in freshwater environments. ("National wildlife federation", 2003; "Fisheries Management Division of Tennessee", 2004; Wellburn, 1988)are found in many bodies of water such as lakes, reservoirs and ponds and also in areas of moving water such as streams, creeks and rivers. The depth at which they are found varies but during most of the day they are found in deep holes, overhangs, other various locations that provide shelter or are at the bottom of a body of water. The surfaces at the bottoms of these bodies range from rocky, sandy and gravelly but channel catfish prefer muddy surface bottoms and clear water (eNature.com and Inc, 2003; State of Tennessee, 2004).
After fertilization the eggs are protected and also aerated by the male. The eggs are adhesive and their size ranges from 2.4 to 3.0 mm in diameter (Chapman 2000). The temperature of the water determines how long before the eggs are hatched. If the water is 24 to 26 °C hatching takes 7 to 10 days but if the water is 24 °C it takes 6 days (Wang 1996). Optimally the eggs will hatch in 4-6 days at 25-27 °C (Chapman 2000).
The yolk sac is still present in the larval stage, and it is still large in comparison to the larvae in this stage. The larvae do not have teeth or pigment. They remain close to the nest at first but then move into shallow waters.
The next stage is the juvenile; these individuals are found in shallow waters and generally only have up to 10 rays on the pectoral fins. Juveniles stay together for several days or weeks and feed on small invertebrates. When an adult channel catfish reaches about 6 months the sex is distinguishable. Between the age of two and three years they are able to reproduce (Chapman, 2000). (Chapman, 2000; Dorman and Torrans, 1977; Wang, 1996)
Channel catfish spawn in the summer. After hatching the juveniles take from two days to two weeks until they are independent. Channel catfish make nests in hidden places, for example, in enclosed cans, under overhangs or in deep holes that provide extra protection from predators (Chapman, 2004; Northwest Power and Concervation Council-Subbasin Planning, 2004). ("Northwest Power and Conservation Council-Subbasin Planning", 2004; Chapman, 2000)
Channel catfish parents invest a lot into their offspring. After spawning the male chases the female away from the nest, but she does not leave completely. She will protect her eggs from a distance. The male and female will attack predators and chase them away with an open mouth but will not eat them. The male also provides the juveniles with a source of food by burrowing, a process where the fish swim down into the mud on the bottom of the body of water and thrash from side to side stirring up food particles for the offspring to eat (McKaye et al., 1994). The female also provides food for the juveniles by positioning her body about a meter above the nest and then releasing eggs for the juveniles to eat. Together the male and female provide protection and food for their young (Vallentgoed, 2004). (McKaye, et al., 1994; Vallentgoed, 2004)
The life expectancy of a channel catfish is around 14 years old but they can exceed this number. In captivity the channel catfish is generally harvested after 2 years (Wellburn, 1988). (Wellburn, 1988)
Taste buds are found on the interior of the mouth and over the body of the fish. The channel catfish responds to food sources through its ability to sense various amino acids in their environment, allowing them to differentiate among prey (Caprio et al., 1993). Another characteristic of channel catfish is the ability to hear sounds. With the help of the Weberian apparatus, which connects the swimbladder to the ear, they are able to amplify vibrations coming from the swimbladder (Vance and Connaughton, 2002). The pectoral spine moves in the pectoral girdle to create sound. Various frequencies can be produced which could be the source of communication to nearby channel catfish or other organisms (Vance, 2000). (Caprio, et al., 1993; Vance and Connaughton, 2002; Vance, 2000)
yellow perch and sunfish. The diet of adults consists of snails, algae, snakes, frogs, insects, aquatic plants, and even birds occasionally. Younger channel catfish are more consistently omnivorous, eating a large variety of plants and animals (Northwest, 2004). ("Northwest Power and Conservation Council-Subbasin Planning", 2004; Wellburn, 1988)can be thought of as one large mouth because there are taste buds located all over their body. The olfactory system is used mostly in consumption of food. Adult channel catfish, over 45 cm, consume fishes such as
The spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins are great anti-predator devices. A predator trying to eat a channel catfish could get impaled by a spine. Only large fish are capable of eating a channel catfish. The darker color of the channel catfish helps camouflage it in the bottom of a clear river, but in muddy water visibility is minimal and this would have less of an anti-predator adaptation. Juvenile catfish have many predators, including many birds, other carnivorous fishes and some insects. Also channel catfish eggs are an easy source of food for many animals but the protection from the parents enables the success of the future offspring (Northwest Power and Conservation Council-Subbasin Planning, 2004). ("Northwest Power and Conservation Council-Subbasin Planning", 2004)
The channel catfish is neither commensal nor mutualist partner with other species. mussels, both commerical species and species of concern, may use as a host. The following freshwater mussels have been found to metamorphose on in lab trials: Anodonta suborbiculata, Arcidens confragosus, Cyclonaias tuberculata, Lampsilis hydiana, Megalonaias nervosa, Quadrula asperata, Quadrula fragosa, Quadrula nobilis, Quadrula pustulosa, and Strophitus undulatus. (Cummings and Watters, 2004)is mainly a predator and prey. Freshwater
Farm raising of channel catfish for food is a multimillion dollar business (Burden, 2004). (Burden, 2004)
There are no known negative impacts of channel catfish on humans.
The IUCN Red List, CITES appendices, and the US Endangered Species Act list the status ofas not significant or not present, meaning there is no threat of this species going extinct.
The original scientific name was (Rafinesque Esq., 1818)but it has been changed to . The original description was made in 1818 by Samuel Rafinesque. The text of the document is quoted next, “Mud-catfish…Sp 8. , Raf. Body whitish with gilt shades and many brown unequal dots on the sides, 8 barbs, 4 underneath, 2 lateral long and black, dorsal fin 7 rays, 1 spiny pectoral fins 6 rays, 1 spiny, anal 27 rays, later line a little curved beneath at the base, tail forked unequal upper lobe longer (Rafinesque Esq., 1818).
David Schoonover (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, William Fink (editor, instructor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Renee Sherman Mulcrone (editor).
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
areas with salty water, usually in coastal marshes and estuaries.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
particles of organic material from dead and decomposing organisms. Detritus is the result of the activity of decomposers (organisms that decompose organic material).
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
Animals with indeterminate growth continue to grow throughout their lives.
referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae. (Compare to zooplankton.)
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
a wetland area that may be permanently or intermittently covered in water, often dominated by woody vegetation.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
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Chapman, F. 2000. "University of Florida IFAS Extension" (On-line). Farm-raised Channel Catfish. Accessed October 25, 2004 at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_FA010.
Cummings, K., G. Watters. 2004. "Mussel/Host Database" (On-line). The Ohio State University Division of Molluscs. Accessed November 19, 2004 at http://126.96.36.199/Musselhost/.
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