Plutosus lineatus (Thunberg, 1787)
Plutosus lineatus (Thunberg, 1787)

Scientific Name: Plutosus lineatus

English Name: Striped eel catfish

Creole Name: Maswaran

French Name: Mâchoiron titan

IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)


Dorsal spines: 1; Dorsal rays: 69-115; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 58-82.
Body elongate, compressed, tapering to a point posteriorly. Head moderately large and broad. 4 pairs of barbels: nasal barbels not extending well beyond posterior edge of eyes, maxillary barbels extendinq slightly beyond. Teeth in upper jaw pointed, teeth in lower jaw conical anteriorly, molar-like posteriorly. Dorsal and anal fins continuous with caudal fin. A single highly venomous serrate spine at the beginning of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins. 
Colour. Head and body dark brown to greyish-brown to whitish below. 2 white stripes from the snout to the caudal peduncle which fade with age. Margins of median fins blackish. Juveniles darker, may also be dark ventrally, and brightly striped. 


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 32cm TL. Commonly to 25cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Found on reefs, along open coasts, in estuaries, and in tidal pools (depth 1-60m). The only catfish found in coral reefs. Benthic. Adults solitary or in small groups of around 20. Juveniles form dense aggregations. Feed upon crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and sometimes fish. Oviparous, with demersal eggs and planktonic larvae. The male in the spawning pair constructs the nest under rocks and other large pieces of debris. After spawning, the female departs while the male guards the eggs. 

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught occasionally in net fisheries.


Venomous. The highly venomous serrate spine of the first dorsal and each of the pectoral fins are dangerous, and even fatal in rare cases. 


Fischer, W. & G. Bianchi (eds), (1984).  FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing Area 51). Prepared and printed with the support of the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). Rome, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, vols 1-6.

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Eds. 2018. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. (10/09/18).

Bray, D.J. Plotosus lineatus in Fishes of Australia, (10/09/18).


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