Softspine Catfish, Neosilurus mollespiculum Allen & Feinberg 1998


Other Names: Soft-spined Catfish

Softspine Catfish, Neosilurus mollespiculum. Source: Gerald R. Allen. License: All rights reserved

Summary:
A dark grey to yellowish grey-brown eel-tailed catfish with relatively weak fin spines. Juveniles are usually darker than adults.

Cite this page as:
Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017, Neosilurus mollespiculum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/3307

Softspine Catfish, Neosilurus mollespiculum Allen & Feinberg 1998

More Info


Distribution

Known only from the Burdekin River system, Queensland. Inhabits rocky freshwater pools in main river channels and larger creeks.

Features

Dorsal fin I, 4; Dorsal, Caudal &Anal fin 107-124; Pectoral fin I, 13; Pelvic fin 13-14; Vertebrae 49-52

Body elongate and tapering posteriorly; head more or less conical but flattened on ventral surface; dorsal profile of head nearly straight, slightly arched; mouth subterminal; lips fleshy; anterior nostril forming a low rimmed tube on upper lip; posterior nostril a narrow slit immediately behind nasal barbel; eyes relatively small; nasal barbel does not reach to eye; maxillary and outer mental barbels approximately equal, reaching to below level of middle of eye; inner metal barbel slightly shorter; slender conical teeth in upper and lower jaws, with lunate patch of larger conical teeth on palate.

 Scales absent, skin smooth.

Dorsal and pectoral fin spines weak and flexible; 1st dorsal fin small but tall, tip pointed, originating in front of level of ventral fins; 2nd dorsal confluent with caudal and anal fins, originating far back near end of body; pectoral fins inserted just behind opercular margin, tips pointed.

Size

Maximum size to about 44 cm, females to about 35 cm.

Colour

Dark grey to yellowish grey-brown overall; juveniles usually darker than adults.

Feeding

Feeds on terrestrial and aquatic insects, crustaceans, molluscs, detritus and algae.

Biology

Little is known of the reproductive biology of this species. Spawning is likely to occur during the wet season.

Similar Species

Closely resembles Neosilurus pseudospinosus, the only other Australian Eel-tailed catfish which lacks rigid dorsal and pectoral spines, but has shorter nasal barbels.

Etymology

The species is named mollespiculum (Latin: soft spike) in reference to the characteristic soft, flexible dorsal-fin spine.

Species Citation

Neosilurus mollespiculum Allen & Feinberg 1988, Aqua, J. Ichthyol. Aquat. Biol. 3(1): 9-18. Type locality: Running River, Burdekin River system, QLD [19°07’S, 145°50’E]

Author

Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. 2017

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Softspine Catfish, Neosilurus mollespiculum Allen & Feinberg 1998

References


Allen, G.R. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 240 pp., 63 pls. 

Allen, G.R., Midgley, S.H. & Allen, M. 2002. Field Guide to the Freshwater Fishes of Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 394 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Feinberg, M.N. 1998. Descriptions of a new genus and four new species of freshwater catfishes (Plotosidae) from Australia. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 3(1): 9-18 figs 1-6

Pusey, B.J., Kennard, M.J. & Arthington, A.H. 2004. Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia. Collingwood, Victoria : CSIRO Publishing 684 pp.

Unmack, P.J. 2001. Biogeography of Australian freshwater fishes. Journal of Biogeography 28: 1053-1089

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37192023

Habitat:Freshwater

Max Size:44 cm

Native:Endemic

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CAAB distribution map