Rendahl's Catfish, Porochilus rendahli (Whitley 1928)

Other Names: Rendahl's Tandan

Rendahl's Catfish, Porochilus rendahli. Source: Dave Wilson. License: All rights reserved

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Cite this page as:
Martin F. Gomon, Porochilus rendahli in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Rendahl's Catfish, Porochilus rendahli (Whitley 1928)

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Known only from the Fitzroy River, WA (124°E) to Jardine River, QLD (142°20’E); tropical; inhabiting mud-bottoms of lowland lagoons, flowing creeks and backwaters near aquatic vegetation in clear or turbid water.


Dorsal fin I, 5-7; 2nd Dorsal+Caudal+Anal 104-127; Pectoral fin I, 9-11; Pelvic fin 10-13; Vertebrae 44-49

Body elongate, slender, laterally compressed and tapering posteriorly; tail pointed; head broad and flattened; head and nape profile concave; head length 17.5-20.8% SL; maximum body depth 19.3-22.2% SL; eyes closer to the snout than any other species in the family; gill rakers on first arch 22-26; lateral line continuous; premaxilla with a small rectangular patch of tiny pointed teeth on each side of the midline; teeth on palate large, rounded; teeth in lower jaw pointed in front, molariform behind; nasal barbel extending to, or beyond posterior end of head; maxillary barbel reaching well behind eye; outer mental barbel reaching to or beyond base of pectoral fin base; inner mental barbel is slightly shorter; anterior nostrils on end of snout, above upper lip, anterior to nasal barbel.

Absent, body covered in smooth skin.

First dorsal fin small with a short, sharp spine and 5 to 7 soft rays; 2nd dorsal and anal fins confluent with caudal fin; base of caudo-dorsal fin less than 15% of SL, originating well back on posterior-most part of body;  pectoral fin with sharp spine bumpy or barbed on inner side and 9-11 soft rays.


To 24 cm.


Ranges from uniform or mottled dark grey to a pale yellowish-brown, usually with a golden sheen. White specimens with dark eyes and occasional spots on the body are also known.


Primarily feeds from the bottom on aquatic insects, microcrustaceans, molluscs and some detritus.


Length at maturity is 100mm TL for males and 110 for females; in the Alligator Rivers region P. rendahli migrate into lowland muddy lagoons for spawning in the early wet season.

Estimated fecundity is around 900 eggs; eggs around 1.3 mm diameter


Often forms large schools.

Species Citation

Copidoglanis obscurus Rendahl, H. (1922) A contribution to the ichthyology of north-west Australia. Meddr. Zool. Mus. Kristiania 5: 163-197. Glencoe, Hermit Hill, NW Australia.


Martin F. Gomon

Rendahl's Catfish, Porochilus rendahli (Whitley 1928)


Allen 1989

Allen et al 2002

Larson & Martin

Pusey et al 2007

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37192012

Danger:Venomous spines


Max Size:24 cm


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