fasciatum (Linnaeus, 1766)
he "Tiger Shovelnose" is
an out-and-out predator, so it should not be kept with any fish
that is smaller than itself and it also should be housed in a
very large tank. The best companions would probably be large Pacu's
or similar sized fish that would not be swallowed.
Similar to Pseudoplatystoma
tigrinum but P.tigrinum has more of a striped
pattern. The specimen pictured here was taken in The
Port Doree Public Aquarium in Paris, France.
There has been a small influx to the hobby of a crossed version
of this fish and a close relation Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum
with the Red Tailed Catfish (Phractocephalus
hemioliopterus) which were primarily hormone bred for
the food market in South America but some found there way into
the aquatic hobby. There are also hybrids between the Red Tailed
Catfish and the Tiger Fish, Brachyplatystoma
tigrinum, and a few other large Pimelodid crosses along
the way. My view is that these large fish have an imposing beauty
all of their own without us having to inbreed them into any mongrel
The picture above depicts a crossed variety
which may be Phractocephalus hemioliopterus x Pseudoplatystoma
tigrinum or Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum x Phractocephalus
hemioliopterus or Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
x Merodontotus tigrinus.
In saying all this there has been aquarists
who have successfully kept Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum
and its close cousin Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum over the
years but weighed against this is the number of "Tiger
Shovelnoses" that have succumbed in aquarists tanks due
to inexperience and neglect. So please only keep this fish if
you can give it 100% commitment and give it the bigest
tank that you can deliver bearing in mind that you will
have to make it a large footprint i.e. plenty of inches
from front to back of tank.
I have to confess that I have tasted this species on the
plate on my fish collecting trip to Peru in July 2000. The local
name for this fish in Iquitos is "Dorada" and it is
There has now been 5 new species described by Buitrago-Suárez,
U.A. and B.M. Burr in 2007, to go alongside P. tigrinum,
P. fasciatum and P. corruscans. These species
are P. punctifer (Castelnau), P. reticulatum Eigenmann
& Eigenmann, P. orinocoensen, P. metaense,
and P. magdaleniatum. So far P. punctifer is
the only species that has not been accepted in some publications
in print and on the internet. Two species (P. punctifer
? and P. tigrinum) are sympatric in the Amazon Basin, two (P.
metaenseand P. orinocoense) are sympatric in the
Orinoco Basin, and two others, P. corruscansand P.
reticulatum, are sympatric in the Paraná. Pseudoplatystoma
magdaleniatum and P. fasciatum each occur as the
only species of Pseudoplatystoma in their respective
Body elongate and streamlined, head long
and depressed. Upper jaw longer than lower jaw. One pair of long
maxillary barbels and two pairs of shorter mandibular barbels.
Caudal fin deeply forked.
Body silvery grey along the sides, shading
to olive along the back. Underside creamy white. Markings variable,
usually vertical dark stripes and blotches. Fins usually spotted.
Its tank should have a shaded area at the
back such as a large branch and plants to hide under as it is
nocturnal, and also the lighting should not be too bright. Should
not be kept with any fish that is smaller than itself and it also
should be housed in a very large tank. The best companions would
probably be large Pacu's or similar sized fish that would not
be swallowed. In my opinion this wonderful looking Pim should
only be kept in Public Aquariums as it can damage its large
nose if kept in too confined an area, it can get jumpy too if
feels its barbels on the tank sides as it turns around. It can
also go of its food as well, if it is anyway disturbed.
|Females tend to be fuller
and heavier than the males.
In their natural habitat they eat other
fish such as characins and other catfish, they also eat freshwater
crabs. In the aquarium a diet of earthworms, freshwater fish such
as trout and also shrimp and prawns. You should only feed when
it starts looking actively for it, as they will rest for a few
days after feeding to digest their food.
Pseudos = fallacy; platys = broad; stoma
fasciatum : Banded
Top Picture Allan
barbels : Pertaining
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Mandibular barbels : Pertaining to the
lower jaw. (mandibualr barbels)
Nocturnal : Active at night.
Hybrid: The progeny of two individuals
belonging to different species; the progeny of two individuals
belonging to different subspecies of the same species are
Back to Nature Guide to Catfishes, 1997.
Riehl, R. and H.A. Baensch 1991 Aquarien
Atlas. Band. 1. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und
Heimtierkunde, Germany. 992 p.
Buitrago-Suárez, U.A. and B.M. Burr,
2007. Taxonomy of the catfish genus Pseudoplatystoma Bleeker
(Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) with recognition of eight species.
Bottom Picture: Chris Olson.
Platystoma punctifer, Platystoma truncatum, Pseudoplatystoma
punctifer, Silurus fasciatus
|Tiger shovelnose catfish
Amazon, Corintijns, Essequibo, Orinoco and Paraná River
| 90cm. (36ins)
-28°C (75 -83°F)
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