ur Factsheet going into the month of August 2017 takes
us to the Indian and Asian family of the Sisoridae
and namely the Sisor genera. There is six
species in this genus, Sisor barakensis from
Manipur, India, S. chennuah from the Brahmaputra
River drainage in India, S. pakistanicus from
the River Chenab in Pakistan, our factsheet
of the month S. rabdophorus from Pakistan,
India and Bangladesh, S. rheophilus from
Ganges River basin in India, and S. torosus
also from the Ganges River basin in India.
was originally described from the rivers of Bengal
and Bihar (Hamilton 1822). Previously thought to be
widely distributed in the Brahmaputra, Ganges and
Indus river drainages, this species was shown to be
more restricted in distribution (the lower Ganges
drainage) by Ng (2003), who designated a neotype (from
the Bhagirathi River, a distributary of the Ganges
in West Bengal) for this species. It is likely that
material identified as this species from the Indus
River drainage is not conspecific.
typically inhabit large rivers with fine sandy bottoms
and fairly swift current.
is a peculiarly modified catfish confined to some
of the tributaries of the upper reaches of north Indian
rivers. Its most striking features are the presence
of a series of bony plates on the back and a very
long upper caudal filament.
River basin, West Bengal, India. Type locality:
Northern rivers of Bengal and Behar [now India: West
Bengal State, Bhagirathi River at crossing point between
Kalna (Barddhaman District) and Nisinghapur (Nadia
District) (23º13'33" N, 88º32'41.4"E).
has fewer lateral line ossicles (66–70 vs 72–79)
and serrations on the anterior (27–29 vs 29–49)
and posterior (6–15 vs 12–22) edges of
the pectoral spine compared to the other species.
It further differs from S. chennuah and S.
torosus in having a more slender body (body depth
at anus 5.0–5.4% SL vs 5.6–7.8), and from
S. rheophilus in having a smaller eye (9.4–12.2%
HL vs 13.2–16.3) and a shorter snout (53.9–55.7%
HL vs 56.2–60.3).
Body colour: Blackish above
and lighter below.
Care and Compatibility
A fine sandy substrate is very
much preferred, since these fish will spend a considerable
amount of time burrowing into the substrate. This
species is sensitive to temperature and oxygen levels,
so the water should be on the cool side and well-oxygenated,
preferably with a moderate to strong current. Additional
tank decor can be in the form of large driftwood and/or
rocks.A peaceful species that should thrive
in a hillstream-type biotope tank.
Better to feed frozen and live
foods as they do not seem to feed on normal aquarium
Specimen which replaces Holotype when lost. Caudal fin:The tail.
Lateral line: A
sensory line, along the sides of the body. Pectoral
paired fins just behind the head.
Local name for the fish in Bengal
and Bihar. rabdophorus:
From the Greek meaning rod and phorus: meaning
bearer in reference to the long filamentous extension
of the uppermost caudal finray.
R. and D. Pauly.
Editors. 2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (01/2011).
Ng, H.H., 2003. A revision of the south Asian
sisorid catfish genus Sisor (Teleostei: Siluriformes).
J. Nat. Hist. 37:2871-2883. Ng, H.H. 2010. Sisor rabdophorus. The
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010. Ng, H.H. Practical Fishkeeping June
13, 2016. Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh.
Vol.23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.