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Ictalurus furcatus  (Valenciennes, 1840)

Blue catfish
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Image of Ictalurus furcatus (Blue catfish)
Ictalurus furcatus
Picture by Lyons, J.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Ictaluridae (North American freshwater catfishes)
Etymology: Ictalurus: Greek, ichtys = fish + Greek, ailouros = cat (Ref. 45335);  furcatus: Ictalurus (Greek) for fish cat; furcatus (Latin) meaning forked (referring to the tail fin) (Ref. 79012).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Freshwater; brackish; demersal; depth range 50 - ? m (Ref. 5723).   Subtropical; 44°N - 25°N, 108°W - 80°W (Ref. 86798)

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

North America: USA (Mississippi River basin from western Pennsylvania to southern South Dakota and Platte River in southwestern Nebraska, south to Gulf; Gulf Slope from Escambia River drainage (where introduced), Alabama and Florida, to Rio Grande drainage in Texas and New Mexico; and Mexico. Introduced in Atlantic Slope drainages, western states, and Minnesota.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 165 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 86798); max. published weight: 68.0 kg (Ref. 9988); max. reported age: 21 years (Ref. 12193)

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits deep water of impoundments and main channels and backwaters of medium to large rivers, over mud, sand and gravel (Ref. 5723, 86798). Stays on the bottom during the day in deep areas and moves into swifter water at night to feed (Ref. 117513). Feeds on small aquatic invertebrates, clams and fishes (Ref. 93252). Prefers clear, strongly flowing water. Deposits eggs in nests under under logs, brush, or riverbank (Ref. 117513). Males build nest often in pools or backwaters (Ref. 117513). Marketed fresh and frozen. Eaten steamed, fried, broiled, microwaved and baked (Ref. 9988).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr, 2011. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 663p. (Ref. 86798)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 115185)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
FAO(fisheries: production; publication : search) | FishSource |

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5010   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00525 (0.00300 - 0.00918), b=3.11 (2.95 - 3.27), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.44 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tmax=21).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (70 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.