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Plotosidae (striped catfish; class Osteichthyes, subclass Actinopterygii) A fairly small family of marine or freshwater catfishes that have an eel-like body, tapering towards the tail, four pairs of barbels around the mouth, a short dorsal fin, and pectoral fins which each bear a sharp, poisonous spine that can inflict painful wounds. There are about 30 species. The marine species are found in IndoPacific waters and especially around New Guinea and Australia, the freshwater species in Australian rivers.