Signs. Body elongated, laterally compressed, glabrous. The coloration of back, sides of body and all fins, except the ventral, zelenovato-grey, almost black. Dorsal fin very short, is located ahead of the pelvic fins. Spiny rays of the pectoral fin serrated on the outer edge. Lower jaw longer than upper. Mouth facing up.
Distribution. Big fish, reaching 5 m length and 300 kg weight, inhabiting rivers and lakes of Europe from the Rhine to the East. To the North of the som is to the South of Finland, South to Asia Minor, the Caspian and Aral seas and flowing into their rivers. No catfish in the rivers of Siberia. There is no com also in England, in the Iberian Peninsula, in France, Italy and Western Greece.
Feature. Soma colour variable, usually olive-green, almost black back, white belly, flanks irregularly shaped spots. Small reed form, inhabiting the southern part of the Aral sea, intensive black. Dorsal fin catfish in a tiny, barely noticeable, no fatty fin, but the anal is very long.
The upper jaw bears two long whiskers on the bottom is four short. Huge mouth soma gives away the predator. Really, catfish — a voracious predator that eats small fish, frogs, large dvustvorchatogo. There were cases of attacks soma a water bird swims and the river dogs. Still, the voracity of the catfish greatly exaggerated. Usually catfish are holding in the deep places under driftwood, still waters of dams. Som not avoid brackish water and feeds in estuaries of the Dnieper, Azov, Caspian and Aral seas. Still returns to spawn catfish in fresh water. Spawning in brackish water was noted only for the Aral sea.
The female catfish lays relatively large (up to 3 mm) eggs in a primitive nest of aquatic vegetation at a depth of 40-50 cm, once the water has warmed to 18-20°C. Before the larvae in the nest guarded by the male. Catfish grows quite fast and becomes sexually Mature at 3-4-th year of life, reaching a length of 44-60 cm In our southern rivers and seas of the som is the object of a considerable fishery. Is not only valued for its fatty and tender meat. From swim bladder of catfish is obtained an excellent adhesive. In the old days purely washed skin soma was used instead of glass in the Windows (“fish bubble”). Big som — desirable prey of the angler-sportsman. Catfish are usually caught in the summer, in the period of intensive feeding, bottom fishing rods, baited with frog or neck cancer, or on the track.
Use. A valuable commercial fish. Has a delicious, medium-fat meat with a small amount of bones. Used in fresh, frozen and salted forms. Produced by takenami shore seines, hook tackle and other fishing gear. In oz. Hanka relatively numerous. As usual in the lake and in the irrigation and waste systems. The annual catch is more than 10 T. The object of sports and Amateur fishing.