Shortfin Catfish, Neosilurus brevidorsalis (Günther 1867)

Other Names: Short Finned Tandan, Short-finned Catfish
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Cite this page as:
Martin F. Gomon, Neosilurus brevidorsalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 02 Dec 2023,

Shortfin Catfish, Neosilurus brevidorsalis (Günther 1867)

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QLD (N Gulf); Cape York, Gulf of Carpentaria, QLD; tropical; freshwater; benthic; inhabiting warm, clear, flowing streams as well as billabongs, flooded lagoons and turbid backwaters.


D I, 4; C,D,A; 130; P I, 10; V 12

 Body elongate and tapering posteriorly; head broad and slightly flattened; gill rakers on first arch 15 to 24; 4 pairs of nasal barbels; nasal barbels reaching from between rear edge of eye to beyond operculum. Scales absent.  Small dorsal fin anteriorly with sharp spine and 4 rays; second dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal fin, 130 rays; pectoral fin with sharp spine and 10 rays; caudodorsal fin base length 14 to 35% SL, originating well behind middle back


To 20cm, commonly to 15cm.


Brown or grey to nearly blackish, whitish on belly and ventral surface of head.


Feeds on insects, prawns, molluscs and small crayfish.


Distinguished by the reduced anterior dorsal fin.

Species Citation

Copidoglanis brevidorsalis G√ľnther A. (1867). Additions to the knowledge of Australian reptiles and fishes. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3)20(8): 45-68. Nicol Bay, Cape York (QLD).


Martin F. Gomon

Shortfin Catfish, Neosilurus brevidorsalis (Günther 1867)


Allen 1989

Allen 2002

Hoese et al Catalogue

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37192010


Max Size:20 cm


Species Maps

CAAB distribution map