Striped Eel CatfishPlotosus lineatus

  • Rocky Shores
  • Fish
  • Catfish
  • Venomous


The striped eel catfish Plotosus lineatus locally known as Masuran belongs to the family of Plotosidae. It is a family of catfish whose tails are elongated as an eel-like fashion with an elongated body that tapers to point at the tail, while their second dorsal fin, caudal and anal fins run together. They have stout venomous spines on the first dorsal and pectoral fins. The striped eel catfish – one of the two species found in the region - can grow up to 30 centimeters. Its overall colour is brown and is marked by two white strips running along the length of the body. They have four pairs of barbels surrounding the mouth. Juveniles are found in dense aggregations of hundreds of individuals while adults may be found in smaller groups or solitary.

Habitat and ecology

The stripped eel catfish is found throughout the Indian Ocean, Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and up to the Western Pacific ocean. They tend to dwell in shallow estuaries and coastal waters, hiding under ledges during the day. Adult P. lineatus feed by searching the sand incessantly for crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and occasionally fish[1].


Conservation and management

The striped eel catfish is quite common throughout its range. It is not assessed by IUCN Red List and therefore its status is unknown. No specific conservation measure exists; the species may be found within and around marine protected areas.


[1] Fishbase. n.d. Plotosus lineatus. Accessed July 2018.

Did you know?

The male striped eel catfish constructs a nest under rocks or other large pieces of debris. The male will guard the eggs after spawning, and the female leaves.