; subclass Actinopterygii, order Siluriformes)
A large family of freshwater catfish that have elongate to eel-shaped bodies. The head carries four pairs of barbels, the dorsal and anal fins are very long and spineless, and the tail fin is rounded. Typically clariids have a labyrinthic structure above the gill arches used as an accessory respiratory organ. Clarias batrachus (walking catfish) can move over land for short distances. One of the larger species, Clarias mossambicus, grows to 1.2 m and is known to survive in poorly oxygenated African freshwater systems. There are about 100 species, found in Africa and tropical Asia.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.