this month for the July 2023 factsheet is the "Menoda
catfish" or to give it its proper scientific
name, Hemibagrus menoda. This bagrid has
a somewhat flattened head and sports a pattern of
dark dots arranged in vertical columns on the sides
of the body. This can't be seen readily on the aquarium
specimen below which has a darker body but the dark
spots are there.
Hemibagrus menoda was described from the
Kosi, Mahanadi and other rivers in the north of Bihar
and Bengal, India (Hamilton 1822), with a neotype
from the Surma (Meghna) River drainage in Bangladesh
being designated by Ng and Ferraris (2000). It inhabits
rivers and ponds in plains and submontane regions.
It is usually dug out from the bottom of ponds where
they lie buried in soft, wet clay.
- note the spots
Arnob Bora states that this fish which is now very
rare and was once known to everyone in Assam. It was
was once found fairly abundantly in the rivers, and
are lucky if you see one, nowadays (Bora, Arnob 2023).
Further south it is still fairly common in the rivers
and tributaries of Bangladesh.
Brahmaputra, Mahanadi and Godavari river drainage's
in Bangladesh and northern India.
Mahananda, and other rivers in north of Behar
and Bengal [now: Bangladesh, Suarma (Meghna)
drainage, Sharighat bazaar, 22 miles NE of Sylhet
on SylhetShillong hwy, by neotype designation.
is known from the Brahmaputra, Ganges and
Mahanadi river drainage's in India, Nepal
and Bangladesh. Although the population size
and trend for this species remain unknown,
as this species is only known from scanty
museum records, and there is also very little
information on the biology of this species
and potential impacts of threats (especially
those of an anthropogenic nature); it is inferred
to have wide distribution. Therefore, it is
currently assessed as Least Concern (IUCN
This species closely
resembles Hemibagrus peguensis differing
in having a longer head, a more linear snout
This species is often referred to Mystus
in the literature, and has sometimes been
erroneously listed as Mystus corsula
(due to the erroneous labeling of the figure
accompanying the original description as "Mugil
Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mahanadi and Godavari river drainage's
in Bangladesh and northern India. Reported from Nepal.
Type locality: Kosi, Mahananda, and
other rivers in north of Behar and Bengal [now: Bangladesh,
Suarma (Meghna) drainage, Sharighat bazaar, 22 miles
NE of Sylhet on SylhetShillong hwy, by neotype designation.
Dorsal spines (total): 2;
Dorsal soft rays (total): 7; Anal soft rays: 12 -
13; Vertebrae: 44 - 45. Distinguished from its congeners
by the following unique combination of characters:
head length 32.7-33.5% SL, head depth 14.2-15.3% SL,
depth of caudal peduncle 7.5-8.8% SL, eye diameter
11.9-12.3% HL, a convex snout and a broad, shallowly
incised humeral process.
Light brown on top with
a greyish tinge, turning dull white underneath.
All paired fins greyish or stained black. Lateral
surface of body with about nine vertical columns
of black spots largest of which being in the middle
of lateral line.
Care & Compatibility
As with most of the genus, H. menoda can
become a pretty nasty character in your fish tanks
and if housed with other fish can be lethal. Cichlids
such as the Pikes from the Crenichla genus
that can look after themselves would be the best bet
for other tank mates. If kept with other fish they
will have to be able to look after themselves.
this catfish is best described as a predator/carnivore
in its natural habitat feedings of fish, insects,
shrimps and other crustaceans, in captivity this catfish
will feed on mussels, prawns, pieces of fish, earthworms
and will even take prepared foods such as catfish
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. Caudal peduncle: The narrow part
of a fish's body to which the caudal or tail fin is
fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the
body. Humeral process:
Bony extension of the
pectoral girdle. Lateral line:
A sensory line, along
the sides of the body.
The paired fins just
behind the head. Vertebrae:
bones of the axial skeleton; divided into two sections,
precaudal and caudal vertebrae.
Hemi- half; bagrus-
From 'bagre', a South American name for a catfish,
but is only used for African and Asian species.
Bora, Arnob. pers
Encyclopedia of Flora and Fauna of Bangladesh.
Vol.23. Freshwater Fishes. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
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.
2016. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 10/2016 ). Jayaram. K.C. 2006, Catfishes of
India. Narendera Publishing House. 383p. Ng, H.H. 2010. Hemibagrus menoda.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010. Ng, H.H. and C.J.
2000. A review of the genus Hemibagrus in Southern
Asia, with descriptions of two new species. Proc.
Cal. Acad. Sci. 52(11):125-142.