The walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) is a species of freshwater airbreathing catfish native to Southeast Asia. It is named for its ability to “walk” and wiggle across dry land, to find food or suitable environments. While it does not truly walk as most bipeds or quadrupeds do, it has the ability to use its pectoral fins to keep it upright as it makes a wiggling motion with snakelike movements. This fish normally lives in slow-moving and often stagnant waters in ponds, swamps, streams and rivers, flooded rice paddies or temporary pools which may dry up. When this happens, its “walking” skill allows the fish to move to other sources of water. Considerable taxonomic confusion surrounds this species and it has frequently been confused with other close relatives.
Sold in HAL market, Bangalore, India (unlikely to be the true C. batrachus)
In Thailand, this fish is known as pla duk dan (Thai: ปลาดุกด้าน). It is a common, inexpensive food item, prepared in a variety of ways, being often offered by street vendors, especially grilled or fried.
One of the most common freshwater catfish in the Philippines, it is known as hito in the local language.
In Indonesia, it is called lele, and it is the main ingredient in several native dishes, such as pecel lele.
It is a delicacy in the Indian state of Assam, where it is called magur mas (মাগুৰ মাছ).
It is also eaten in West Bengal মাগুর মাছের ঝোল is good during illness particularly weakness in body. It is made a light curry with coriander powder and cinnamon powder and eaten. Children eat them most for body strength
In Karnataka, it is called murgodu (ಮುರ್ಗೋಡು). In coastal Karnataka, it is called mugudu (Tulu: ಮುಗುಡು) and is considered a delicacy.
A white variation with black patterns is commonly seen in the aquarium fish trade. However, this color variation is also prohibited where walking catfish are banned. Very well-rooted plants and large structures that provide some shade should be included. Any tankmates small enough will be eaten.