Common Names: Sheatfish, Danube catfish, European catfish
Identification: Scaleless, elongated body. It can grow up to 13 feet long with a weight of over 880 pounds. Upper side is usually a dark color and the flanks and belly are more pale. Fins are brownish and the body has a mottled appearance that is sometimes accompanied by brown spots. 1 dorsal spone and 4-5 dorsal soft rays, 1 anal spine and 90-94 anal soft rays and a caudal fin with 17 rays.
Habitat: Native to central, southern and easter Europe and near the Baltic and Caspian Seas. It prefers large, warm lakes and deep, slow-flowing rivers where it can remain sheltered in holes, sunken trees, etc.
Reproduction: Breed annually during spring; hatching takes 3-10 days; reproductive maturity is 4 years for a female and 3 years for a male. The male creates a shallow depression that will hold thousands of eggs. Females can lay up to 30,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight.
Impact and Damage: Have been implicated in declining populations of other commerical fishes. Capable of carrying bacterial disease that can be transmitted to other fish such as Red head disease (Vibrio sp. bacterium) and Gill disease (Flavobacterium).
Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Wikipedia.
Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the Bugwood.org network (http://www.invasive.org).Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (http://images.google.com).