Catfish have no scales. All catfish, except members of Malapteruridae (electric catfish), possess a strong, hollow, bonified leading ray on their dorsal and pectoral fins, through which a stinging protein can be delivered if the fish is irritated. In members of the family Plotosidae, and of the genus Heteropneustes, this protein is so strong it may hospitalize humans unfortunate enough to receive a sting.









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Catfish are important food fish throughout the world. Ictalurids are cultivated in North America (especially in the Deep South), while Clariids and Pangasiids are heavily cultured in Africa and Asia. There is also a large and growing ornamental fish trade, with catfish a popular component of many aquaria. In the United States, June 25 is National Catfish Day.

Pictures 1 through 6 Are From The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Pictures 7 through 10 Are From The USDA































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