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Pylodictis olivaris
(Rafinesque 1818)
Family Ictaluridae

Front view of a flathead catfish
The photo above shows the flathead catfish’s four pairs of barbels. This fish was collected in Marion, Alabama. It is now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection, UF 238412. Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

The flathead catfish is a member of the North American catfish family, and has a wide, flat head, with the lower jaw projecting beyond the upper jaw. The breast, belly and chin barbels of this species are white to yellow, and there is a white tip on the upper lobe of the caudal fin that disappears in very large individuals. Flathead catfish can be found in deep lakes, impoundments and pools of small to large rivers. Juveniles are usually found in rocky and sandy runs and riffles

Lateral view of two flathead catfish
The photo above shows an adult, top, and juvenile, bottom, flathead catfish. These fish are now part of the Florida Museum ichthyology collection. Top: UF 238412 Bottom: UF 238038 Florida Museum photo by Zachary Randall

Status & distribution

  • Status ā€” Non-indigenous freshwater
  • Florida Distribution ā€” Western and North Central drainages
  • River Drainages ā€” Perdido River, Escambia River, Apalachicola River and the Suwannee River
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