to the Asian version of the South American shovelnoses,
maybe not in the aggression
stakes but certainlyu in size, as The "Indian
Shovelnose Catfish" grows, to a total lengh (from
tip of snout to end of caudal fin) 6'ft. (180cm) and
is arguably along with another nasty
of the most aggressive big cats. The
larger Asian Bagrid cats seem to be that bit more
territorial and aggressive compared to their South
This is a very
sleek looking catfish from the Bagridae family
and is one of only four in this
S. aorella and S.
They all grow large and
have an elongated shape with a large head and depressed
body and posses four pairs of barbels with a black
spot on the posterior of the adipose fin.Ferraris and Runge (1999)revised this genus and
they separated the Myanmar populations previously
identified as aor as a separate new species.
The image above
shows the deeply forked tail and the black spot to
the adipose fin. The four species posses
a black spot on the posterior end of the adipose fin
but S. seenghala differs from S. aor
in having a spatula snout and shorter barbels.
These two members of this genera
are regularly caught on rod and line, and nets, and
sold in the local food markets.
The image above
shows the rounded snout and the long maxillary barbels.
Shovelmouth Catfish, Long-whiskered catfish.
River system and peninsular India south to Cauvery
River basin. Type locality: Rivers
of Bengal, and upper parts of the Gangetic estuaries.
P 1/9; A; 12/13. Head depressed, rounded snout. Four
pairs of barbels with the maxillary pair reaching
to the end of the anal fin or sometimes the rear of
the caudal base or beyond. Caudal
fin deeply forked.
Body silvery grey
with white below. Fins yellowish with dark edges.
Black blotch at the posterier end of the adipose fin.
Care and Compatibility
This species is not
intended to be housed in a community
aquarium and apart from the reason of aggression towards
other fish and conspecifics it grows too large for
the normal tanks in our homes. Please leave this catfish
alone unless you have the facilities to move through
the growth patterns from a small 3inch specimen on
to the tank busting 6ft giant, although they may not
reach this size in a captive environment. A specimen
would need a large heated pond in a Conservatory like
building on its own to do it any kind of justice.
The pond would need to be at
least 12ft wide by 20ft long as
this is a quick growing catfish given the right dietary
requirements. Provide hiding places such as large
pipes, driftwood and rocks.
Aggresive towards other fish and conspecifics. Can
be kept with the same size or larger fish when younger
such as South American Pacus and large Cichlids.
pairing possibly like other members of the same genus.
and breeds before the onset of the monsoon in the
Ganges. They apparently prepare a nest on the bottom
of the river bed and guard it. The fry have been reported
to feed of the skin on the males belly where he produces
a slime like substance.
Females have a more rounded
appearence and the males have a genital papilla just
in front of the anal fin.
In the wild adults will feed
on small fishes and worms. Can be fed on frozen shrimps,
worms, pellet and tablet foods. Adults can be fed
on strips of trout and sprats. Not a fussy eater.
fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays,
behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Anal fin:The median, unpaired,
ventrally located fin that lies behind the anus, usually
on the posterior half of the fish. Caudal fin:The tail.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper
jaw (maxillary barbels).
Named after Mr. M. A. Sperat. aor: From the Bengali
common name for this fish: "AYRE" for Sperata
of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh.
Vol.23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
300p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist
of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.
FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org,