Walking Catfish Video Captured on Campus

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Walking catfish recorded in WFIT parking lot by Dr. Kevin Johnson

On September 13, 2016, Melbourne, Florida received 3.5” of rain. This deluge flooded streets and turned the Florida Tech parking lots into shallow rivers. In response to that event, a walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) made its move to cross WFIT’s parking lot. It’s not clear how far this fish had traveled across the wet pavement, as the nearest permanent water bodies were hundreds of meters away. 

walking catfish

Walking catfish are invasive in Florida and native to Southeast Asia.
Source: Rudolpho B. Reyes, fishbase.org

Walking catfish are invasive in Florida and native to Southeast Asia. They were introduced to Southern Florida and the Everglades in 1967. This sighting in Melbourne, more than 241 km (150 mi) north of the original introduction spot, is the furthest-north confirmed sighting of this invasive fish. They have literally been marching north for half a century, and likely make the most progress during storms such as this.

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