This group consists of 34 families and about 410 genera and over 2400 species.Some are herbivores
some omnivores and some of them are predators.
Size is also highly variable, most of them are small to medium sized but fey of them can reach
to 2 meter in length.
There are schooling species such as corydoras while others are loners.
Although this group is not very colorful there are numerous species with eye catching contrasting designs. We can divide the catfish group into smaller groups or families:
Ageneiosidae (slopehead catfishes) – 3 genera and more than 28 species.
Amphilidae (loach catfish and African hillstream catfishes) - 7 genera and 47 species.
Ariidae (sea and shark catfishes) – 14 genera and 120 species.
Aspredinidae (banjo catfishes) - 10 genera and 32
Astroblepidae Auchenipteridae (driftwood catfishes) – 21 genera and
Bagride (bagrid catfishes) – 13 genera and more then 210 species. Callichthyidae (armored catfishes) – 7 genera and 130 species
Cetopsidae (whale catfishes) – 4 genera and 12 species.
Chacidae (frogmouth catfishes) – one genus and 3 species.
Clariidae (labyrinth and walking catfishes) – 30 genera and more
then 100 species.
Doradidae (thorny and talking catfishes) - more then 35 genera and more then 95 species.
Helogenidae (marbled catfishes) – one genus with 4 species.
Lataluridae (bullhead catfishes) – 7 genera and more then 45 species.
Loricariidae (suckermouth catfishes) – approximately 80 genera and more then 550 species.
Malapteruridae (electric catfishes) – one genus and 2 species.
Mochokidae (upside down catfishes) – 10 genera and more then 165 species.
Olyridae (bannertail catfishes) - 1 genus and 4 species.
Pimelodidae (antenna catfishes) - 56 genera and more then 300 species.
Plotosidae (tandan catfishes) – 9 genera and approximately 32 species.
Schilbeidae (glass catfishes) – 18 genera and more than 45 species.
Siluridae (sheath catfishes) – 12-13 genera and more than 100 species.
Sisoridae (Asian hillstream catfishes) – about 20 genera and more than 85 species.
Truchomycteridae (parasitic catfishes) – 36 genera and 155 species.
Although loaches are not part of the catfish family they are also bottom feeders.
The family Cobitidae (loaches) consists of 18 genera and more then 110 species.