Skip to main content

Channel Catfish

Ictalurus punctatus
The Channel Catfish is the most common, and most frequently angled, Catfish in North America. Their range stretches from southern Canada to northern Mexico, and they'll live in just about any fresh body of water that provides them with adequate food and water temperature.

You can identify a Channel Catfish by taking a look at its tail. They have very deep forked tails when compared to other Catfish species. They also tend of have dark spots on the top side, though in older fish they may merge together.

Channel Catfish can grow to pretty large sizes over their 40 year lifespan, and the food that they eat changes with their size. As young fish they are more omnivorous, eating small critters and plant matter. But as they grow larger they are more and more carnivorous, eating fish, reptiles, and even birds! The Channel Catfish themselves are preyed on frequently when they are in the egg to juvenile phases, but full grown adults have far fewer predators.

Did you know that Channel Catfish are monogamous, breed only once a year, and are pretty good parents? Males and females pair up before the breeding season begins. When it comes time to mate they will swim with their tails wrapped around each other's heads, which stimulates spawning. Once the fertilized eggs are laid the male chases the female off, but she remains nearby to protect her new offspring from a distance. The male sticks around in a much closer proximity, and eventually helps to feed the juvenile fish when they hatch by thrashing in the mud to loosen food bits into the water. The young fish will be independent from their parents within two weeks. Quite the interesting fish!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : North America
Size : Weight up to 50lbs (23kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Siluriformes
Family : Ictaluridae -- Genus : Ictalurus -- Species : I. punctatus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent