Tag Archive: Long-whiskered Catfishes

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfish)
Family :Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes)

Genus/species: Phractocephalus hemiliopterus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They are named for their orange-red caudal fin. The snout is rounded with three pairs of barbels around the mouth. The base body color is light black and little dark spots can be seen on the head. A wide, white band extends from the caudal peduncle to the tip of the snout. The belly is black, as are the fins except the upper tip of the dorsal fin which may be orange to red.

Length up to 134 cm (4.5 feet). Weight up to 44 kg (97 lbs)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: P. hemiliopterus is native to South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins. They are found in large freshwater rivers, streams and lakes.

DIET IN THE WILD: Fish, crabs and fruit

REPRODUCTION: They exhibit external fertilization and do not guard the eggs. 

LONGEVITY: Approximately 20 to 30 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list and CITES: Not Evaluated.

REMARKS: P. hemiliopterus has been introduced, but is not established in Florida, perhaps a good thing as the redtail is a voracious predator on smaller fishes. Because of its size it is a popular game fish.

Unfortunately, the Steinhart inhabitants of our open-topped tank have swallowed shoes, cameras, sunglasses, a plastic dinosaur and cell phones, occurrences that have occasionally required manual (and extremely careful) extraction by a biologist or the veterinarian.


fishbase fishbase.org/summary/Phractocephalus-hemioliopterus.html

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest Docent Training Class 2014

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3313914505/in/set-72157620568438047/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-91

EOL eol.org/pages/344961/details

Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum

Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes)

DISTRIBUTION: South America: Amazon and Orinoco basins.

HABITAT: Riverbeds, shady streams, flooded forest areas.

APPEARANCE: Elongated, streamlined body with long snout; large mouth with three pairs of long barbels. Black spots and stripes on body and fins in irregular pattern; the pattern is banded, thus the common name. Usually silver to brown above; white to silver below.  Can grow to 90 cm or more in captivity.

DIET: Nocturnal hunter; feeds on fish and crabs.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: Separate sexes, external fertilization. Does not guard eggs.

REMARKS: Venomous spines.

Prized as food and game fish, and often found in South American food markets. Flesh is succulent.

WORDPRESS SHORTLINK: http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-8W

LOCATION; Flooded Amazon Tunnel

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