Fork-tailed catfish

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Fork-tailed catfish

Arius graffei

Growing to a maximum size of 60 cm this catfish commonly reaches 35 cm and is often encountered in upper estuarine habitats. It is Dusky grey overall and white underneath. This species has dorsal and pectoral spines capable of inflicting painful wounds. Freshwater populations are potadromous. Mouth brooding species. Known to occur in the Haughton River basin and Saltwater Creek. Freshwater populations also recorded in the Lower Burdekin catchment and Bowen catchment.


Much of the information about fish species and their distribution in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region presented throughout this Wiki is based on the work of Pusey(2005). The Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) also provided access to their Northern Australian Fish (NAF) database (in press), which contains the most current available fish survey data for tropical Australia. Allan Webb also from ACTFR provided information of the expanding list of exotic fish species recorded from the immediate Townsville region principally the Ross River. Additional information about species distribution is the authors experience (principally Jim Tait) and knowledge of the region. Descriptions of species are based on Allen et. al. (2002) and Pusey et. al (2004) with additional detail and comments by the authors of the Fish Passage Study.

Fish illustrations and mapping by Jason Carter. Illustrations have been drawn from specimens and photographs and after other illustrations, in particular Swainston and Ruse (in Allen 1997) and Pusey (in Pusey et. al. 2004)


  • Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (in press) Northern Australia Fish (NAF) database.
  • Pusey, B. Kennard, M Arthington, A (2004) Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia, CSIRO Publishing. (Available from

External Links

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