Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton 1822) ZBK
Pimelodus bagarius Hamilton 1822 ZBK : 186, 378, pl. 7 (fig. 62). Type locality: Ganges River , India . Possible syntype : BMNH 1822.214.171.124 [ex Zool. Soc.] (1).
Bagarius buchanani Bleeker 1853 ZBK : 121. Type locality: Hooghly River, Calcutta , India ; Pepeh River, Surakata, cent. Java , Indonesia . Syntypes : (3) NMV 46015 (1). Apparently Bagarius buchanani ZBK is an unneeded replacement name for Pimelodus bagarius Hamilton 1822 ZBK ; if so, the type locality is Ganges River, India.
Distribution: Roberts (1983) reported this species from the Ganges, Chao Phrya and Mekong drainages and noted its possible occurrence in the Malay Peninsula. Prior to Robert’s paper, nearly all references to Bagarius bagarius ZBK were based on, at least in part, one or more of the other Bagarius ZBK species. Since Robert’s paper, this species has been reliably reported from the Malay Peninsula and the Salween and Mae Klong drainages (Kottelat, 1989; Talwar & Jingran, 1991). It has also been reported from the Brahmaputra drainage (Mamnur Rashid et al., 1997; Karmakar, 2000) and Irrawaddy drainages (Vishwanath et al., 1998; Keishing & Vishwanath, 1999). It has been reported from the Indus drainage (Misra & Hameed, 1974; Datta Munshi & Srivastava, 1988; Rafique, 2000), but the Bagarius ZBK species in the Indus drainage is most likely referable to B. yarrelli .
- Alfred W. Thomson, Lawrence M. Page (2006): Genera of the Asian Catfish Families Sisoridae and Erethistidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes). Zootaxa 1345, 1-96: 27-27, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:25EFA792-7DA4-4E0D-A69A-12591B8422DE
Bagarius bagarius ZBK :
Chao Phraya drainage : USNM 103215 (1; 184.0), USNM 103216 (1; 194.0), USNM 109628 (1; 114.0), USNM 109629 (1; 128.4). Mekong drainage : CAS 61923 (2; 138.0-170.0), CAS 93904 (6; 75.2-183.0), CAS 96580 (8; 83.3-152.2), CAS 96641 (1; 129.0), CAS 97005 (3; 76.4-95.9), CAS 97024 (1; 69.9), USNM 288670 (1; 90.0). Cambodia : CAS 94273 (2; 151.7-181.0). Thailand : CAS 96871 (3; 114.6-133.0).
- Alfred W. Thomson, Lawrence M. Page (2006): Genera of the Asian Catfish Families Sisoridae and Erethistidae (Teleostei: Siluriformes). Zootaxa 1345, 1-96: 94-94, URL:http://www.zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:25EFA792-7DA4-4E0D-A69A-12591B8422DE
Habitat and Ecology
Diseases and Parasites
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Bagarius bagarius
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bagarius bagarius
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
As a large, predatory fish that is actively caught for food, this species is in some danger of being overexploited. Even though current indications are that this species is still relatively abundant, the current fishing pressure on this species (at least on the Indian subcontinent) is likely to be unsustainable, as evidenced by local declines reported in some studies (Mishra et al. 2009). However, more empirical data is needed to support this claim. The effects of other potential anthropogenic threats such as habitat destruction and competition from alien species need to be further ascertained (H.H. Ng pers. comm.).
The confused taxonomy surrounding the identities of Bagarius species in the Indian subcontinent is badly in need of resolution in order to accurately assess their conservation status. There is insufficient information on the distribution, biology and potential threats for this species. Being a large predatory fish that is often fished for food, catch data for this species in other areas of its natural distribution is also needed.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Bagarius bagarius, also known as the devil catfish, dwarf goonch or goonch (Bengali: বাঘাইর), is a species of catfish in the genus Bagarius. It is generally reported as being found in large and medium rivers in South and Southeast Asia, but considerable taxonomic confusion surrounds this species and B. yarrelli.
At present the standard is to recognise two species of Bagarius from the Indian Subcontinent: First B. bagarius, supposedly a small species (up to 20 cm or 7.9 in) first described in 1822 by Francis Buchanan-Hamilton based on a specimen from the Ganges River. The second is B. yarrelli, supposedly a very large species (up to 2 m or 6.6 ft) first described in 1839 by William Henry Sykes based on a specimen from the Mula-Mutha River. This larger type has been accused of several fatal attacks on humans in the Mahakali River that is Nepal's western border with India. Recent studies have not been able to document that more than one species exists in the Indian subcontinent, which, if confirmed, would mean that the name B. bagarius is a senior synonym of B. yarrelli. In contrast, Southeast Asian populations typically included in B. bagarius likely represents a separate species.
B. bagarius is the only member of the genus even marginally suitable for home aquaria. It requires cool, fast-flowing water, and eats bloodworms, shrimp and live or dead fish. Reports exist of very anti-social behaviour by these fish in captivity.
- Ng, H.H. (2010). "Bagarius bagarius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Bagarius Bleeker, 1853
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Bagarius bagarius" in FishBase. January 2012 version.
- Ng, H.H. (2010). "Bagarius yarrelli". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
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