The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Clarias fuscus
Clarias fuscus
(whitespotted clarias)

Copyright Info
Clarias fuscus (Lacep├Ęde, 1803)

Common name: whitespotted clarias

Synonyms and Other Names: Chinese catfish, Hong Kong catfish, puntat

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: A few distinguishing characteristics and illustrations or photographs were given by Nichols (1943) and Masuda et al. (1984). Jordan and Evermann (1905) provided a detailed description of a specimen collected in Hawaii.

Size: 40 cm.

Native Range: Eastern Asia in south China, Taiwan, and the island of Ishigakijima, Japan (Masuda et al. 1984).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Clarias fuscus are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
HI187020146Hawaii; Hawaii Region; Kauai; Maui; Molokai; Oahu

Table last updated 5/8/2021

† Populations may not be currently present.

Means of Introduction: This catfish is believed to have been introduced to Hawaii from Asia by Chinese immigrants, prior to 1900 (Cobb 1902; Jordan and Evermann 1902, 1905; Maciolek 1984). Jordan and Evermann (1905) stated that the species "was introduced from China a few years ago . . ." The fish was introduced apparently as a food source (Devick 1991b). Cobb (1902) and Jordan and Evermann (1905) stated that the catfish was commonly raised in the irrigation ditches and freshwater ponds in Hawaii and typically sold alive to the Chinese.

Status: Cobb (1902) indicated that that this catfish was fairly common in the vicinity of Honolulu; Brock (1960) stated that it was established in the waters of Kauai, Oahu, and Maui prior to the turn of the century. Based on recent information, the species is considered established on the major islands of Hawaii, including Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Molakai, and Oahu; it is most common in stream habitats (Brock 1960; Maciolek 1984; Devick 1991a, 1991b).

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: In Hawaii, this catfish inhabits the muddy bottoms of taro patches, streams, and ditches (Morita 1981). Cobb (1902) and Jordan and Evermann (1902) recorded the species found in Hawaii as Macropternotus maqur; Jordan and Evermann (1905) recognized it as Clarias fuscus (although in obvious error they use the name Clarias magur in one part of their report).

Voucher specimens: Hawaii (BPBM 3626, 3627, 30618).

References: (click for full references)

Brock, V.E. 1960. The introduction of aquatic animals into Hawaiian waters. International Revue der Gesamten Hydrobiologie 45:463-480.

Cobb, J.N. 1902. Commercial fisheries of the Hawaiian Islands. 381-499 in Report of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fishereis for the Year Ending June 30, 1901. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Devick, W.S. 1991a. Disturbances and fluctuations in the Wahiawa Reservoir ecosystem. Project F-14-R-15, Job 4, Study I. Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Devick, W.S. 1991b. Patterns of introductions of aquatic organisms to Hawaiian freshwater habitats. Pages 189-213 in new directions in research, management and conservation of Hawaiian freshwater stream ecosystems. Proceedings of the 1990 symposium on freshwater stream biology and fisheries management, Division of Aquatic Resources, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Jordan, D.S., and B.W. Evermann. 1902. Preliminary report on an investigation of the fishes and fisheries of the Hawaiian Islands. 353-380 in Report of the United States Commissioner of Fish and Fishereis for the Year Ending June 30, 1901. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.

Jordan, D.S., and B.W. Evermann. 1905. The aquatic resources of the Hawaiian Islands; part I—the shore fishes. U.S. Fishery Bulletin 23:1-574.

Maciolek, J.A. 1984. Exotic fishes in Hawaii and other islands of Oceania. 131-161 in W.R. Courtenay, Jr., and J R. Stauffer, Jr., eds. Distribution, biology, and management of exotic fishes. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD.

Masuda, H., K. Amaoka, C. Araga, T. Uyeno, and T. Yoshino, eds. 1984. The fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokai University Press.

Morita, C.M. 1981. Freshwater fishing in Hawaii. Division of Aquatic Resources, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Honolulu, HI.

Mundy, B.C. 2005. Checklist of fishes of the Hawiian Archipelago. Bishop Museum Bulletin in Zoology, Number 6.

Nichols, J.T. 1943. The freshwater fishes of China. Natural history of Central Asia volume IX. The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.

FishBase Summary

Author: Nico, L.

Revision Date: 7/2/2019

Peer Review Date: 1/30/2012

Citation Information:
Nico, L., 2021, Clarias fuscus (Lacep├Ęde, 1803): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=487, Revision Date: 7/2/2019, Peer Review Date: 1/30/2012, Access Date: 5/9/2021

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2021]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [5/9/2021].

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