15 Fin-tastic Facts About Sperata Fish For Kids

Here are some great Sperata facts you will love.

The Sperata genus covers six species of bagrid catfish, which are known for being found in the freshwater rivers of southern Asia. The species of catfish are Spreata aorella, Sperata acicularis, Sperata aorides, Sperata lamarrii, Sperata aor, and Sperata seenghala.

These scale less silver fish are known for their long, whisker like feelers which can be compared to those of a cat, giving them the name. Sperata fish are also popular game fish, commonly being fished as sport and eaten as a delicacy all over Asia. They make good pets and can grow to be quite large if given adequate space and fed a nutritional diet.

To learn more about these catfish, read on! You can also find more interesting facts on our wels catfish and fin whale pages.


Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, water fleas, algae, crustaceans, and aquatic plants

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

1.2 million eggs

How much do they weigh?

3-50 lb (1.3-22.6 kg)

How long are they?

15-71 in (38-180.3 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Silvery gray with long whiskers near their mouth

Skin Type

Smooth skin

What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Freshwater rivers


South Asia





Scientific Name






Sperata Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Sperata?

Sperata are a genus of river fish which can be found in freshwater environments.

What class of animal does a Sperata belong to?

Sperata fish refers to a genus of catfishes.

How many Speratas are there in the world?

Though the actual population of Sperata fish species is unknown, their numbers are in plenty as they are bred in fisheries as game fish and are found in abundance in freshwater rivers.

Where does a Sperata live?

Sperata catfish are found mostly in southern Asia, ranging in distribution from Afghanistan to Thailand. They are popularly found in Indian waters, occurring naturally in the Ganga River, Padma River, and Indus River.

What is a Sperata's habitat?

Sperata genus catfish can be found in freshwater environments such as rivers and tributaries, with the ideal Sperata habitat being in temperate, tropical, and subtropical zones.

Who do Speratas live with?

Sperata genus catfish are schooling fish and can often be found swimming together in large packs During the breeding season, they can be found migrating to slow flowing environments of moderately high temperatures in order to lay and fertilize their eggs.  They can also be found living alone and can be quite territorial at times

How long does a Sperata live?

Though the exact lifespan of these catfish species is unknown, catfish on general live from 8-20 years on average. We can assume that catfish of the Sperata genus survive for a similar range of time.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding period for Sperata catfish occurs during March to May, with the peak season being April to May right before the onset of the monsoon season. These catfish travel upriver to warmer waters, where the females lay eggs in a shallow depression in the muddy river bed.

What is their conservation status?

Out of the six species of Sperata catfish, three are listed as Least Concern which are the Sperata acicularis catfish, Sperata aor catfish and Sperata aorella catfish. The other three species are Not Evaluated, however we can assume that they too are found in abundance.

Sperata Fun Facts

What do Speratas look like?

Sperata catfish are large, slender fish with eyes on the sides of their broad, flat heads. They are scale less with smooth, silver skin, and fins on either side of their body, as well as a dorsal fin. They have long whiskers around their mouths which they use for sensing obstacles in the water.

Males and females look similar but can be differentiated as males are more slender, and females have rounder bellies due to the presence of eggs.

The Sperata seenghala is a silver, scale less fish with long whisker like feelers and the Seenghala species is a popular fish among fishery breeders.

How cute are they?

With their gaping mouths and long whiskers, the Sperata genus catfish can be labelled as pretty cute.

How do they communicate?

Catfish communicate by sensing their way through the water with the help of their whiskers. They can usually smell their prey with the help of their taste buds that can pick up signals in the water. They are known to use their swim bladders to make a squeaking sound to warn other fish about predators and to warn other catfish to stay away when they are feeling territorial.

How big is a Sperata?

Sperata genus catfish are large and can commonly be found measuring in a range of 15-71 in (38-180.3 cm).

How fast can a Sperata swim?

Catfish have been observed to swim at speeds in a range of 1.1-2.6 mph (1.7-4.1 kph).

How much does a Sperata weigh?

The ideal weight range of Sperata genus catfish have not been recorded, however from different reports we can conclude that these bagrid catfish can grow to a range of 3-50 lb (1.3-22.6 kg), depending on the species and nutrition received.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names for males and females of the Sperata catfish genus.

What would you call a baby Sperata?

Baby Sperata catfish are called as fry or fingerlings.

What do they eat?

The Sperata diet seems to be omnivorous with these catfish being observed to eat a variety of organisms such as as shrimps, insects, beetles, prawns, copepods, water fleas, worms and even the fry of other fish. They occasionally also feed on algae and aquatic plants, though this has been observed to be very rare.

Are they dangerous?

Unlike other species of catfish which can be poisonous to humans, fish of the Sperata genus are not observed to cause any particular harm. If threatened, they can bite, however their bite is harmless and can be treated with ease as it is not a venomous fish.

Would they make a good pet?

These catfish can make good pets. They require a freshwater environment with a moderately warm water supply. A large, spacious aquarium is required with a sandy bottom along with decorative rocks and driftwood to provide adequate shelter for them to hide.

However, they should not be housed with smaller fish as they can be quite territorial and will eat any fish that they are able to fit in their mouths. They thrive well if kept alone and will grow quite large.

Did you know...

The Sperata catfish is one of the largest freshwater catfish which can be found in India.

Bagrid catfish are also known as naked catfish as their bodies lack scales.

The Sperata acicularis is endemic to Myanmar.

What are the subspecies of Sperata fish?

There are six species of catfish under the Sperata catfish genus. These are the Sperata aor catfish, Sperata aorella catfish, Sperata acicularis catfish, Sperata lamarri catfish, Sperata aorides catfish and the Sperata seenghala catfish which is the most popular species of this genus.

Can humans eat Sperata fish?

The Sperata aor and Sperata seenghala species are the most popular fish of this genus when it comes to breeding in fisheries as game fish. They are quite nutritional and good in taste, making them a popular choice among fish lovers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these devilfish facts and candiru facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable sunfish coloring pages.



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