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Scientific Name: Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch, 1794)
English Name: Stinging Catfish
Bengali Name: Shing
Availability: H. fossilis is widely distributed in lentic freshwaters and also occasionally in brackish waters throughout Bangladesh. It was very common in Buriganga and Turag River. Recently, it has also been recorded from Chalan Beel, Halti Beel, Tanguar Haor, Kapotakkho River, Padma River, Jamuna River (Latifa et al. In Press).
Habitat and Ecology: The fish is omnivorous and predatory in nature. It feeds on bottom dwelling small invertebrates, detritus, and eggs of other fishes, larvae of fish, insects and others. It is much dreaded because of its aggressive behavior and can inflict painful wounds with its potentially dangerous pectoral spines. It is able to tolerate slightly brackish water conditions. Its air breathing apparatus enables it to exist in almost any kind of waters. It comes to water surface at times for air breathing. This is primarily a freshwater fish and utilizes a wide range of water bodies, including ponds, ditches, beels, swamps and marshes, also occurs in muddy rivers. It is also occasionally found in slightly brackish waters (Saha 2007).
Justification: Heteropneustes fossilis is widely distributed in the country and occupies a wide range of water bodies. It experienced an insignificant decline in population that has been substituted by the recruitment of escaped fishes from pond aquaculture. The prevailing threats are general. So, it has been assessed Least Concern.
[Source: Red List of Bangladesh, Volume 5: Freshwater Fishes]