Ictalurus Catus

Conservation status
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Osteichthyes
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Ictaluridae
Genus: Ictalurus
Species: I. catus
Binomial name
Ictalurus catus
(Linnaeus, 1758) [1]
Synonyms [1]

Ameiurus catus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Ictalurus catus, also known as the white catfish or white bullhead, is a member of the family Ictaluridae of the order Siluriformes.


Originally native to the coastal river systems of the Eastern United States, the catfish spread to other parts of the U.S.


Ictalurus catus has a head with eight barbels, two nasal, two maxillary and four chin. It is scaleless. It has a spine on the anterior edge of its dorsal and pectoral fins. It usually has six dorsal soft rays. It does not have palatine teeth. It typically weighs between 12 to 2 pounds (0.23 to 0.91 kg).


Ictalurus catus is found throughout the U.S. It prefers sluggish, mud-bottom pools and backwaters of rivers and streams, and does well in lakes and large impoundments.[2]



White catfish feed mostly on the bottom where they eat other fish and aquatic insects. They feed most actively at dusk and through the night[3] mostly on bottom dwelling insects, worms, amphipods, and other small invertebrates.


Reproduction occurs from April to July when the water temperature ranges between 65 and 75°F. A gelatinous mass of eggs is deposited in a cavity created by hollow logs or undercut banks. The male guards the nest and incubates the eggs by continually fanning fresh water over them.[2]


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