irst of all this is not an aquarium care sheet for this species
as the "Mekong giant catfish" does not belong in the
home aquarium, as this is one of the worlds largest freshwater
fish and as such should be admired from afar!
It was reported in 2003 that Pangasianodon
gigas is in itself getting to a critical point of extinction
due to the growing pressure by fisheries, damming, and habitat destruction
along the banks in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This is also true
of a lot of other species that exist in this great river as more
and more people rely on the Megong for their livliehood.
Like many species in the Mekong, the giant catfish needs great stretches
of the river to migrate seasonally—and it must have specific
water quality and flow to move through its lifecycles of spawning,
eating, and breeding.
It shows one of the greatest growth rates
for any fish in the world, reaching 150 to 200kg in 6 years.
The "Mekong giant catfish" has
been re-listed as Critically Endangered because there is information
which indicates that populations of the fish have declined significantly
over the past several years.
Dorsal spines (total): 2 - 2; Dorsal soft
rays (total): 7 - 8; Anal soft rays: 35; Vertebrae: 48. Body without
stripes; posterior nostril located near anterior nostril; 7 branched
dorsal-fin rays; gill rakers rudimentary or absent. The center of
the eye above the horizontal line through the mouth angle in juveniles;
eye totally below the level of mouth angle in subadults and adults.
The maxillary and mandibulary pairs of barbels well developed in
juveniles; mandibulary barbels become rudimentary in subadults and
adults. Gigantic size; oral teeth and gill rakers present in small
juveniles, absent at about 30-50 cm SL; dorsal, pelvic and pectoral
fins without filamentous extensions.
There are game fishing trips for catching this large species (above)
but these are rereleased back into their habitat and the records
that they record can help to identify what condition and numbers
there are at that present moment in time.
Silver to grey body. Fins grey, never black.
Yellow underbelly and same colour to mouth area.
Not an aquarium specimen.
Little is known on its general pattern of
life and migratory journeys for spawning
Feeds on vegetation and insect larvae in the
river but takes other food in captivity.
|Females are fuller in
Pangasius + an (Greek
for without)+odon (Greek for tooth); in reference to the toothless
state of the adult fish.
gigas: Latin meaning Giant
|Froese, R. and
D. Pauly. Editors. 2006.FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version
Rainboth, WJ, 1996. Fishes of the Cambodian
Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery
Purposes. FAO, Rome, p153.
National Geographic: Giant Catfish Critically
Endangered. Ryan Mitchell and David Braun National Geographic
News November 18, 2003.
| Gill rakers:
Structure on the upper portion of the gill arches.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Mandibulary barbels: Pertaining
to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
, Pangasius paucidens
|Mekong giant catfish
endemic to the Mekong basin where it has become rare due to
overexploitation. International trade banned (CITES I,
since 1.7.1975; CMS Appendix I).
-28°C (71 -83°F)
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