Mainly due to the presence of only 12 anal gland rays
and differing due to other body proportions. Body
elongated, belly flattened in the front half. Head
strongly depressed. Body height 5 times in the total
length without tail and almost 8 times with the caudal
fin (without the lengthening of the upper lobe). The
greatest height of the head is almost always contained
in the distant tip of the nose and the end of the
occipital processer Length of the head sometimes in
the length of the body without the caudal filaments.
Eyes very small, elongated; their diameter amounts
to the entire length of the head, they lie exactly
in the middle between the front and rear end of the
head (with the occipital process distance between
the two eyes about 1/16th diameter of the eye. Head
bony above, in the middle somewhat sunk in the occipital
process a little over the back of the the end of the
gill protrudes, but not as far as the basal plate
in front of the dorsal, twice as long as the width
of its base. Muzzle depressed, rounded in front. Upper
jaw protruding significantly above the lower in both
jaws numerous, multi-row and of different sizes. Front
nostril open, deadly, back covered by a flap-like
skin, which forms the base of the very short nasal
barbel. The latter has the rings of the smaller eye
diameter, maxillary barbel stiff, very broad at the
base, successively narrowed towards the end. Spines
of the dorsal fin are strong and finely serrated,
smooth at the back, lengthened upwards into a filament.
This really is a fish destined to live a solitary
life due to the fact that it would eat just about
any other occupant that it could fit inside its mouth.
When keeping the Devil Catfish it is essential to
provide the fish with oxygen-rich water due to the
fact that these fish are from highland streams. I
have personally found it essential (Ralph. 2002) to
provide good filtration and water movement in order
to keep this fish in optimum condition. Regular 25%
water changes are also appreciated by this catfish,
and I always carry these changes out weekly and certainly
no longer than fortnightly. Diet:
As its common name suggests this truly is a demon
amongst the fish world, requiring meaty foods at all
times. In the wild this fish would predate upon smaller
fishes, but in an aquarium it can be persuaded to
feed upon cockles, mussels, whole prawns, dead fish
and earthworms. It is also documented that this catfish
when kept with fish bigger than itself, that it would
eat their scales. Note: B. lica
was a synonym of Bagarius yarrelli (Sykes
1839) which in itself is now a synonym of B. bagarius
(2021). Still appearing on most online sources as
B. yarrelli. Remarks:
There are now five Bagarius species described.
The "Devil Catfish" Bagarius bagarius
from the Indian subcontinent. The "Dwarf Goonch"
B. vegrandis is found in Chao Phraya and
the Mekong. The "Flat head Goonch" B.
Suchus is found in Chao Phraya and the Mekong.
The Giant B. lica is found in every basin
except Salween. B. rutilis from Vietnam,
and the undescribed species B. sp. salween
which is only found in Salween. B. yarrelli
is now a synonym of Bagarius bagarius.