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Phractocephalus hemioliopterus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Image contributors to this species:

Allan James (2) Oliver Fernandes (2) Nishant Kakani (2) Jean-Francois Helias (8) Chris Ralph (1) Peru Aquarium Group  (1) Reinhold Wawrzynski (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

This large pim is now one of a few that have been released back to the rivers in Asia, notably Thailand, to the decrement of the local fish population. There are now man made lakes in Thailand were these catfish are fished for sport and returned to the water again. The common name of the "Red Tailed Catfish" is probably better known than its scientifiic name as this is one of the few freshwater tropical fish that has its common name known wordwide along with the humble community fish of the Poecilidae family, the "Guppy", "Molly", and "Platy". This is where the similarity ends as this is an out and out predator that grows over three feet and is definitely not recommended to your average aquarist and can only be recommended to the more experienced hobbyist who would be willing to dedicate, him or herself, to rearing this Amazon cat through the many tank changes from the juvenile stage to the 3ft plus that it will attain throughout its long lifetime.

Common Name:

Redtail Catfish


Silurus hemiliopterus, Phractocephalus bicolor 




South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins. Now found in the rivers of Thailand, Asia.


100cm. ( 3ft. )


20-26°C (67-79°F)


6.0 -7.0.


ScotCat Factsheet no. 82. April 2003



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