A “TALKING catfish” has been donated to Bristol Aquarium.

The giant Raphael catfish, which can reach lengths in excess of 70cms, was given to the aquarium by a member of the public after outgrowing its tank.

The fish is native to Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Bolivia and very unusual in the UK.

Bristol Aquarium’s David Waines said: “The fish is covered in sharp spines and armoured scales and is an impressive-looking creature.

“The people who donated it to us weren’t sure what it was and it took us a while to correctly pin it down.

“Its alternative name is the giant talking catfish due to its ability to emit a range of buzzing sounds.

“The noise is so loud that it can be heard through the glass of an aquarium tank.

“He’s still recovering in our quarantine area but the plan is for him to eventually go into our giant Amazon rainforest display where I’m sure he will prove to be popular with visitors; particularly if he starts talking to them.”

The catfish is normally found in slow-moving and standing waters including tributaries, creeks and swamps.

It shelters among roots or submerged vegetation and feeds mainly on aquatic molluscs and fruits and seeds which fall into the water.

Its fondness for snails has led to it sometimes also being called the “mother of snails” catfish.

The fish are also known for living as long as 20 years.