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Zungaro zungaro (Humboldt, 1821)

Image contributors to this species:

Jean-Francois Helias (1) Enrico Richter (1) Allan James (1) Julio Endler (1) Ivan Mikolji (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Robust body with quadrangular and depressed head. The adults are olive green with a white belly region, with viliforme conical teeth in the palate and the pterigoideo bone, forming developed patches. Dorsal fin rays 1-6. Specimens measuring 130 cm and weighing 50 kg are not rare. In the Amazon, this fish is found quite upstream, in the main bed of the big tributaries with muddy bottom. Mainly piscivorous, hunts at night, sometimes going into flood prone areas of rivers. Some migrations in pursuit of migrating Triportheus and Anodus have been reported. Sexually mature upon reaching 10 kg weight. The nursery ground is at the river mouths. This Large South American pim has been introduced to some fishing lakes in Thailand as can be seen in the first thumbnail gallery image. Juveniles and sub-adults are spotted and the adults are usually without spots. As this species grows the barbels shorten in length, in relation to the body size as the fish grows. Remarks: Not suited to the home aquarium due to its final adult size and its predatory instincts.

Common Name:

Gilded catfish, Jau cat


Pimelodus zungaro, Bagrus flavicans, Zungaro humboldtii, Platystoma Lütkeni, Paulicea luetkeni




South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins. Introduced to fishing lakes in Thailand. Type locality: Tomependa, Río Marañon [Amazon River basin, Peru].


140cm. (4ft 8ins)


20-24°C (67-75°F)




Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase.World Wide Web electronic publication.www.fishbase.org, version (09/2010).
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Conservación Internacional; seris de Guías Tropicales De Campo. Pecos del medio Amazonas Región de Leticia. 546 p.
Grant, S. 1999 (29 Dec.) [ref. 24295] Pseudopimelodus, Bleeker, 1858 & some related genera (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae). Catfish Compendium: 44-58.



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