Striped eel catfish

Plotosus lineatus


Photo credit: ©Sergii Dibrova
Plotosus lineatus
  • The juveniles are brightly coloured, with striking white and black stripes. They fade to dull browns and blacks as they mature.
  • It has 4 pairs of barbels on their mouth. It also has venomous spines, and secretes a toxin from its skin.

Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • Native to the Indian Ocean.
  • It is now widespread in the Mediterranean and the Israeli coast

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • Outcompetes native species by predating on native prey and displacing native predators
  • Poses a threat to both animal and human life as it is venomous

How could it get here?
  • Potentially through the aquarium trade

Is it found in Northern Ireland?
  • Not present in Northern Ireland.

Methods for Prevention:
  • Monitoring pathways of introduction
  • EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
  • Report all sightings.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.
Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email:
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland