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Florida Manatee & Aquatic Center Animal Fact Sheet
WHITE CATFISH
Holacanthus bermudensis

Range:
Western Atlantic Ocean; from Uruguay through the Caribbean to Nova Scotia.

The White Catfish is part of the bullhead catfish family, the Ictaluridae family, which is part of the North American Catfish. Alike other Catfish, the White Catfish has a forked tail with rounded tips. They have short rounded anal fins and a broad heads. The White Catifsh is completely white although can be two-toned with a part of the body a darker shade of white. Although the Catfish is white, it is actually made up of a blue-gray and blue-black shade of white. Unlike other catfish, this species lacks spots on its body. They also lack scales.

The most distinguishing feature about the White Catfish is its chin barbels. The White Catfish has four pairs of barbels, which can also be referred to as whiskers.
Many catfish, including the White Catfish can taste without using its mouth. They can use their barbels where they have many external taste buds. They can taste something by just touching it with their barbels. Unlike many other catfish, the White Catfish is not as nocturnal. However, the White Catfish may be observed feeding during the night.
The White Catfish is also known as the forked-tail cat and is the smallest of the North American catfish.




Habitat: Found mainly in rivers, streams, reservoirs, ponds and in slightly brackish coastal waters.
Diet: Bottom feeders: Largely fish (dead or alive) but also eat larval aquatic insects, crayfish, small crustaceans, fish eggs, mollusks, and aquatic plants, fruits and berries.
Status: Least Concern (IUCN)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Length: 10-18 in
Weight: 2-4 lbs
Lifespan: Up to 11 years
Reproduction & Offspring:

This species of Catfish spawns in late spring / early summer. The male chooses a nest site around or in hollow logs or holes under the bank. The male Catfish, like other Catfish and unlike other types of fish, protects the nest until the eggs hatch. They also known for building the nest in which both the male and female help to create.


 

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