Longtail Catfish, Euristhmus lepturus (Günther 1864)

Other Names: Elongate Catfish, Long-tailed Catfish, Long-tailed Catfish Eel

A Longtail Catfish, Euristhmus lepturus, from the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales - USNM 219608. Source: Sandra J. Raredon / Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Euristhmus lepturus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Feb 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2759

Longtail Catfish, Euristhmus lepturus (Günther 1864)

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Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, Timor Sea, Western Australia, to Sydney Harbour, New South Wales. Inhabits muddy areas in estuaries and coastal waters.


May be taken as bycatch in commercial trawl fisheries.


The specific name lepturus is from the Greek leptos (thin) and oura (tail), in reference to the long, pointed tail of this species.

Species Citation

Cnidoglanis lepturus Günther 1864, Cat. Fishes Brit. Mus. 5: 28. Type locality: Sydney, New South Wales.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Longtail Catfish, Euristhmus lepturus (Günther 1864)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(3): 375-396. 

Burgess, W.E. 1989. An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine Catfishes — a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. Neptune City, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 783 pp. 

Castelnau, F.L. de 1878. Australian fishes, new or little known species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 2(3): 225-248 pls 1-2 (described as Plotosus elongatus)

Castelnau, F.L. de 1878. On some new Australian (chiefly) freshwater fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 3(2): 140-144 (as Plotosus elongatus)

Ferraris, C. 1999. Family Plotosidae. pp. 1880-1883 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 3 pp. 1397-2068. 

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

Günther, A. 1864. Catalogue of the Fishes of the British Museum. Catalogue of the Physostomi, containing the families Siluridae, Characinidae, Haplochitonidae, Sternoptychidae, Scopelidae, Stomiatidae in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 5 455 pp. 

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 See ref at BHL

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

McCulloch, A.R. 1921. Studies in Australian fishes. Records of the Australian Museum 13(4): 123–142, plates xxi–xxiv. doi:10.3853/j.0067-1975.13.1921.863, open access

Murdy, E.O. & Ferraris, C.J., Jr 2006. A revision of the marine eel-tailed catfish genus Euristhmus (Teleostei: Siluriformes: Plotosidae). The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 22: 77-90 

Ogilby, J.D. 1899. Contributions to Australian ichthyology. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 24(1): 154-186 

Ramm, D.C., Pender, P.J., Willing, R.S. & Buckworth, R.C. 1990. Large-scale spatial patterns of abundance within the assemblage of fish caught by prawn trawlers in Northern Australian waters. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41(1): 79-95.

Russell, B.C. & Houston, W. 1989. Offshore fishes of the Arafura Sea. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory 6(1): 69-84

Willing, R.S. & Pender, P.J. 1989. Length-weight relationships for 45 species of fish and three invertebrates from Australia's northern prawn fishery. Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries, Australia, Technical Bulletin 142: 57 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37192004

Danger:Venomous spines

Depth:1-50 m

Habitat:Estuaries, coastal waters

Max Size:46 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map