Freshwater Fish in Colombo Wetlands
Green cromide ( Etroplus suratensis )
Flying barb (Esomus thermoicos)
Sri Lanka Day’s Killifish (Aplocheilus dayi)
Sri Lanka Walking Catfish (Clarias brachysoma)
Sri Lanka walking catfish is a fresh water fish species belongs to family Clariidae. It is endemic to Sri Lanka. Its natural habitats are rain forest streams, lowland rivers and wetlands.
This species has vertically compressed head and flat wide mouth. Four pairs of barbules present around the mouth. Elongated body is horizontally compressed like a thick ribbon. Body colour is varying from brown to dark brown and malted pattern observed all over the body. Dorsal fin is started just behind the head and extends towards caudal peduncle and this feature can be used to separate this species from sting catfish (Heteropneustes fossilis).
During the wet season it often enters ephemeral flooded habitats where it may become trapped as waters recede. If necessary it’s able to travel across land for distances of several hundred metres using its pectoral fins and this gave the name walking catfish. It grows to a length of 40 cm. During mating season, spawning occurs in nests among weeds in very shallow water. Then the male guards the nest and young until reaching about 1 cm in length.
However this species is threatened by habitat loss, wetland degradation and hybridization and competition with invasive species marble catfish