Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Chaca bankanensis

Frogmouth catfish

Frogmouth catfish, Chaca bankanensisFrogmouth catfish, Chaca bankanensis
Photos by Andy Rapson


Chaca: Because of the sound that this fish makes when out of water

General Notes:

The frogmouth catfish is a very efficient predator and will eat fish almost as large as itself if given the opportunity. Fish which are to big to eat will be ignored. Frogmouth catfish are extremely lethargic rarely moving at all except when ambushing prey. They can be kept in groups without any problem. This species make poor aquarium subjects due to their inactivity. They have a very sharp spine on their dorsal fin and so observe caution when handling this fish. Frequent water changes are necessary for this species because it is somehow able to lower the pH of its water, this could be problematic if the fish is confined to a very small tank. In its native land it is considered to be a venomous species by locals.


Wild frogmouth catfish feed on fish and shrimps along with other live prey which can be swallowed whole. In captivity they can be trained to accept dead prey as long as it appears to be moving and it is close to them. Note: feeding live vertebrate animals (fish) is illegal in the UK.


Adult females are shorter and more rounded than adult males.


Chaca bankanensis has never been bred in the home aquaria.

Wild status

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists Chaca bankanensis as 'Least Concern'. The fish is still common across many parts of its range but is facing the threat of loss of habitat. All specimens offered for sale will have been wild caught.

Information at a glance

pH: 6 - 7.2
dGH: 2 - 10
Temperature: 24 - 28°C (76 - 82°F)
Diet: Carnivore
Size: 20cm (8in)
Min tank size: 100 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Species
Swimming level: Bottom

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for Frogmouth catfish, Chaca bankanensis

Origin: Asia: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo.

Habitat: Found in swamp forest and streams with soft bottom, usually among leaf litter and aquatic vegetation


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Chacidae
Genus: Chaca
Species: C. bankanensis Bleeker, 1852

Common name:
Frogmouth catfish

Synonyms: None