Conta can be distinguished from all other erethistids by the presence of a very long and narrow adhesive apparatus on its thorax about six times as it is long. It also has extremely narrow gill openings, a slender body, a serrated anterior margin on the dorsal fin spine, a papillate upper lip, and 9–10 anal fin rays. The eyes are small and located dorsolaterally. There is villiform (brush-like) teeth in both jaws. The pectoral fin spine is serrated anteriorly and posteriorly.
Conta pectinata differs from Conta conta in that it has a longer and more slender caudal peduncle and in having anteriorly-directed serrations (instead of antrorse or distally-directed serrations) the anterior edge of the pectoral fin spine.
- Thomson, Alfred W.; Page, Lawrence M. (2006). "Genera of the Asian Catfish Families Sisoridae and Erethistidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 1345: 1–96.
- Ng, Heok Hee (March 2005). "Conta pectinata, a new erethistid catfish (Teleostei: Erethistidae) from northeast India" (PDF). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters. 16 (1): 23–28.