Longwhiskered Catfishes


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Longwhiskered catfishes, naked catfishes or flat-hosed catfishes are members of the Pimelodidae family. They are endemic to the Tropical America, with the highest diversity being found in the Amazon, Paraná and Orinoco basins, and the principal rivers of the Guianas. These catfishes are recognized by having scaleless skin, well developed adipose fin and 3 pairs of barbels. The maxillary barbels are particularly long and there are no nasal barbels.

Pimelodids are primarily freshwater fish with a few species that enter brackish water. Many are highly migratory fishes that make long-distance migration to spawn.

There are 32 genera with at least 110 species. All the species in Malaysia are accidentally or deliberately introduced.


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Scientific Name: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
English Name: Redtail Catfish
Chinese Name | 鱼类中文名: 红尾鲶鱼 (Hóng wěi niányú), 红尾猫 (Hóng wěi māo)
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลากดหางแดง (Plā kud h̄āng dæng), ปลาเรดเทล (Plā red thel)
Main Identification Features: Head large with coarsely rugose bony structure and predorsal shield. Mouth wide with 3 pairs of barbels. Upper portion of body dark, with reticulation and spots. Lower flank white. Belly with dark blotch. Caudal fin red or orange.
Size: Maximum total length 135 cm, commonly to 60 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: The species is native to Tropical America, widespread in the lowland, winding rivers and lagoons of the Amazon, Essequibo and Orinoco river basins. Nocturnal omnivore that feeds primarily on fishes and invertebrates. Potamodromous, typically traveling 100 to 1,000 km in response to the seasonal flood pulse to seasonally-flooded forests.
Remarks: The species in Asia is accidentally or deliberately introduced. The Asian Redtail Catfish, Hemibagrus wyckioides has nasal barbels (total four pair of barbels).





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