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Bagarius yarrelli (Sykes, 1839)

Image contributors to this species:

Freshwater Fishes of China in Coloured Illustrations (1) Frants Lehmann (1 Stamp) Jean-Francois Helias (8) Zhou  Hang (1) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (4) Allan James (2) Liam Irons-Mclean (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Vertebrae: 40 - 45. Pelvic-fin origin usually behind the base of the last dorsal ray; adipose-fin origin in front or above the anal-fin origin. Elongate neural spines 2-5, slender; abdominal vertebrae 21-24. Eye circular, diameter 10-13 times in HL; head width 4.3-4.7 times in SL. Occurs in large rivers on the bottom, even with swift current and never enters the small streams. Found among boulders, often in the white water of the rapids where it apparently is indifferent to the strong current. Diet: Feeds primarily on prawns but will take small fishes and aquatic insects. Breeding: Spawns in rivers before the rainy season. Migrates in schools and is also reported to migrate to follow its prey. Also reported that it follows Catlocarpio siamensis (The Siamese giant carp) during its upstream migration. Apparently the main upstream migration begins close to the peak of flood when the current is very strong and the water is turbid. Sold fresh in markets but is not a highly esteemed food fish, because its fibrous flesh spoils rapidly and can cause illness. Aquarium Care: Grows very large and is a natural predator on small and large fish so not really an addition to the home aquarium. Better to leave well alone.

Common Name:



Bagrus yarrelli




Asia: Indus and Ganges drainages, most of southern India east of the western Ghats, Mekong basin, Xe  Bangfai basin (Laos) to Indonesia


200cm. (6ft 8ins)


18-25°c (64-77°f.)




Rainboth, W.J. 1996 Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO Species Identification Field Guide for Fishery Purposes. FAO, Rome, 265 p.
Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari and S. Wirjoatmodjo 1993 Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong. 221 p.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (09/2010).



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