Eeltail Catfishes

Several marine and estuarine species of eeltail catfishes commonly inflict stings with their venomous dorsal and pectoral fin spines. Anglers removing them from baited hooks at night, commercial fishers sorting trawl catches, and unwary children handling marine life in shallow tide pools are most at risk.

The spines are sharp and serrated and after penetrating hands or feet they sometimes break off, leaving part of the spine in the wound. Depending on the severity of the penetration and amount of venom absorbed through the wound, the pain can be extreme and persist for hours.

Eeltail catfish should not be handled. Protective gloves or an implement should be used to remove them from fishing gear or trawl catches.

Striped Catfish, Plotosus lineatusStriped Catfish, Plotosus lineatus

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