What Is a Red-Tailed Catfish?


Quick Answer

A red-tailed catfish is a large, long-whiskered member of the catfish family native to South America. Its tail fin is orange or red. These bottom-dwelling freshwater fish live in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds.

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What Is a Red-Tailed Catfish?
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Full Answer

Because red-tailed catfish commonly grow to be four feet long, they are often caught for food in South America. They are omnivores, eating other water creatures as well as fruit or seeds that have dropped into the water. They are occasionally found in waterways in the United States, but the species has not proliferated in this environment. It is believed that any red-tailed catfish found in the wild in the United States were originally aquarium pets that were released.

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