The Great Barrier Reef Library

A comprehensive guide to The Great Barrier Reef

Siluriformes – Cat Fishes

By on May 10, 2018


Siluriformes are commonly referred to as Cat Fishes, due to the whisker-like barbels near their mouths. They use these barbels to dig among the seabed in search of algae, crustaceans and small fish to feed on. Siluriformes have long, elongated bodies and most have a spine on their dorsal fin.

There are roughly 3,000 species of Cat Fishes worldwide, but the majority are live in fresh water environments. Only 135 species inhabit the oceans.1

You can find a list of the families of Cat Fishes found on The Great Barrier Reef, below.

Family – A lower level of taxonomic classification, grouping together species that show many similarities

Ariidae – Fork-Tail Cat Fishes

Plotosidae – Eel-Tail Cat Fishes