Have You Heard Of The Gulper Catfish?

Asterophysus batrachus has a massive stomach to match its appetite.

This gulper catfish is about to eat a large cichlid. Photo by Chaîne de amazoniapiranha/Youtube

The first I had heard of the gulper catfish (Asterophysus batrachus) was early this morning when a supposedly viral video came into my inbox showing a ridiculously small fish tank holding three or four of these black catfish in it and what looked like some small goldfish.

What looks like a golden shiner or some sort of carp was dropped into the tank, about the same size as the catfish. All of a sudden, one of the catfish takes to the fish and starts eating it, head first. It thrashes around with the large prey and I thought the prey item was too big. The gulper catfish gulped it down, and now you could see the body of the fish with the body of the gulper cat. It was the most insanely interesting fish feeding I had ever seen. Totally brutal but mesmerizing at the same time.

The gulper catfish (Asterophysus batrachus)  is native to  South America and can be found in the Brazil and Venezuela, in the Rio Orinoco and Rio Negro river drainages. It is the only species in its genus, Asterophysus. They grow from 12 to 14 inches in length and have a huge mouth and stomach to accommodate the large fish that it has no problem eating.

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Fish · Freshwater Fish