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Bagrichthys macracanthus (Bleeker, 1854)

Image contributors to this species:

David Sands (1) Julian Dignall (1) Allan James (3) Vedran Cuncic (1) Beta Mahatvaraj (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Dorsal spines (total): 1 - 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7 - 7; Anal soft rays: 13 – 14. Body depth 3.7-3.9, head length 4.9-5.0 both in SL. Nasal barbels extending to or beyond eyes when laid back, maxillary barbels to operculum or pectoral fins, mandibulary and mental barbels shorter. Dorsal fin very high, with a serrated spine longer than body depth; adipose fin very large, long, originated immediately behind dorsal fin. Large broad mouth. Inner and outer mandibular barbels with straight (non- convoluted) margins; 18-29 serrae on long dorsal fin spine in adults; Colour: body dark brown to black with pale stripe along lateral line, sometimes, with 2-3 irregular yellowish brown vertical bands. Remarks: Occurs in large muddy rivers. Feeds on crustaceans, other small benthic animals and on detritus of higher plants which are much more slowly digested and remains in the gut for longer periods of time. Spawns at the beginning of the rainy season and utilizes the flooded riparian forests. Juveniles begin to appear in August. Marketed fresh. Aquarium Care: The male 'black lancers' can be very territorial and as such can be only be kept, one male to a tank with the rest females. Although they posses a small mouth it is wide, but they don't tend to be a threat to other fishes as such, although if you keep very small fish with them they could be picked of at night as the lancer enjoys its night-time forays.

Common Name:

Black Lancer


Bagroides macracanthus, Pseudobagrichthys macracanthus, Leiocassis macropterus, Bagroides  vaillanti,




Asia: Sumatra. Type locality: Moara kompeh, in fluviis, Sumatra.  


18cm SL ( 7¼ins)


24-27°C (75-81°F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (12/2008).
Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari and S. Wirjoatmodjo, 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong. 221 p.
ScotCat Factsheet no. 44. Feb. 2000.



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