Overview

Comprehensive Description

Bagarius bagarius (Hamilton 1822) ZBK

Pimelodus bagarius Hamilton 1822 ZBK : 186, 378, pl. 7 (fig. 62). Type locality: Ganges River , India . Possible syntype : BMNH 1857.6.13.151 [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
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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
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Biology

Adults inhabit rapid and rocky pools of large and medium-sized rivers (Ref. 12693). Feed on insects (Ref. 4833), small fishes, frogs and shrimps (Ref. 1479). Breed in rivers prior to the beginning of the annual flood season. Marketed fresh. Important as a food fish, but the meat spoils rapidly and can cause illness (Ref. 12693). Reported length of 200 cm (Ref. 4537) is incorrect (Maurice Kottelat, pers. comm. with hint to Roberts 1982 (not seen).
  • Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran 1991 Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Volume 2. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. (Ref. 4833)
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Distribution

Range Description

Although this species is said to be distributed in the Mekong, Chao Phraya, Ganges and Brahmaputra river drainages (Kottelat 2001), further studies on its taxonomy may show it to be restricted to the Indian subcontinent (whether in part or whole) (H.H. Ng pers. comm.).
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Asia: Ganges, Mekong and Chao Phraya basins (Ref. 27732). Reported from Salween, Maeklong and Peninsular Thailand (Ref. 26336).
  • Kottelat, M. 1998 Fishes of the Nam Theun and Xe Bangfai basins, Laos, with diagnoses of twenty-two new species (Teleostei: Cyprinidae, Balitoridae, Cobitidae, Coiidae and Odontobutidae). Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwat. 9(1):1-128. (Ref. 27732)
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South central and southeastern Asia: Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 6; Analsoft rays: 13 - 14; Vertebrae: 38 - 42
  • Roberts, T.R. 1983 Revision of the South and Southeast Asian sisorid catfish genus Bagarius, with description of a new species from the Mekong. Copeia 1983(2):435-445.
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Size

Maximum size: 390 mm TL
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Max. size

200 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 26563))
  • Hwang, H.C., I.Y. Chen and P.C. Yueh 1988 The freshwater fishes of China in colored illustrations. Vol. 2. Shanghai Sciences and Technology Press, Shanghai, China. 201 p. (Ref. 26563)
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Diagnostic Description

Pelvic-fin origin in front of the base of the last dorsal ray; adipose-fin origin behind the anal-fin origin (Ref. 27732). Elongate neural spines 4-8, distally expanded abdominal vertebrae 17-20 (Ref. 35669). Absence of sharp ridge on top of head; absence of bumps on dorsal mid-line behind dorsal fin base (Ref. 43281). Mouth large, inferior and arciform (Ref. 45563).
  • Roberts, T.R. 1983 Revision of the South and Southeast Asian sisorid catfish genus Bagarius, with description of a new species from the Mekong. Copeia 1983(2):435-445.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits a variety of fluviatile habitats, although it is typically associated with swift, clear rivers with a substrate of rocks and sand (H.H. Ng pers. comm.).

Systems
  • Freshwater
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Environment

benthopelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; pH range: 6.5 - 7.8; dH range: 12 - 30
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Migration

Potamodromous. Migrating within streams, migratory in rivers, e.g. Saliminus, Moxostoma, Labeo. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.
  • Riede, K. 2004 Global register of migratory species - from global to regional scales. Final Report of the R&D-Projekt 808 05 081. Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Bonn, Germany. 329 p. (Ref. 51243)
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Trophic Strategy

Dwells mainly in the main streams of large rivers. A ferocious fish and hunter, feeds mainly on small fishes, frogs and shrimps (Ref. 45563).
  • Burgess, W.E. 1989 An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p. (Ref. 6868)
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Diseases and Parasites

Rhabdochona Infestation 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and A.B.A. Ahmed 2002 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of Bangladesh. FAO Fish. Tech. Paper (T369/1), 77 p. (Ref. 42533)
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Opisthorchis Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
  • Arthur, J.R. and A.B.A. Ahmed 2002 Checklist of the parasites of fishes of Bangladesh. FAO Fish. Tech. Paper (T369/1), 77 p. (Ref. 42533)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Bagarius bagarius

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 5 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

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.

CTTTATTTAGTATTCGGTGCTTGAGCTGGGATAGTTGGCACAGCTCTT---AGCCTCCTAATTCGGGCAGAGCTAGCCCAACCTGGCGCCCTTCTAGGCGAT---GACCAAATTTATAATGTCATTGTTACTGCTCACGCCTTTGTTATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATGATTGGTGGGTTCGGCAACTGACTAGTGCCACTAATG---ATTGGAGCTCCCGACATGGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTACTGCCCCCATCCTTTCTACTACTGCTTGCCTCTTCTGGTGTTGAAGCAGGGGCAGGAACAGGATGAACCGTATACCCCCCACTTGCAGGAAACCTCGCACATGCAGGAGCTTCCGTGGATTTA---ACTATTTTTTCACTGCATCTTGCAGGAATTTCATCAATTCTAGGAGCCATCAACTTTATCACAACTATCATTAATATAAAACCTCCAGCGATCTCCCAGTACCAAACACCATTATTCGTGTGGGCCGTCCTCATCACAGCAGTACTTCTCCTGCTCTCTCTGCCAGTACTTGCCGCG---GGCATCACAATGTTATTAACAGACCGAAACCTAAACACCACCTTCTTTGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGTGATCCAATCCTATATCAACATCTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bagarius bagarius

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 9
Specimens with Barcodes: 9
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
NT
Near Threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Ng, H.H.

Reviewer/s
Allen, D.J., Vishwanath, W., Dahanukar, N. & Molur, S.

Contributor/s
Molur, S.

Justification
The taxonomic status of Bagarius from throughout the Indian subcontinent is badly in need of critical study. Irrespective of the confusion surrounding the taxonomy of this species, the currently known populations of Bagarius bagarius are harvested heavily in different parts of its range as food fish and for ornamental trade and as sport fish. Based on the study in West Bengal the status of the species, as it is currently understood, is assessed as Near Threatened. It is important that the species should be re-assessed following resolution of its taxonomic uncertainty and the subsequent species identified may all then qualify for a threatened category.
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Population

Population
Although there is little information on the population and its status (in part exacerbated by the taxonomic confusion surrounding the group), there are indications that this species is suffering declines in parts of its range. A considerable decline in the population in southern West Bengal of 29.2% over four decades from 1960 to 2000 has been reported (Mishra et al. 2009).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats

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.).

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Near Threatened (NT)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

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.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes
  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott 1991 World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)
  • Talwar, P.K. and A.G. Jhingran 1991 Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries. Volume 2. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam. (Ref. 4833)
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Wikipedia

Bagarius bagarius

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,[3] but considerable taxonomic confusion surrounds this species and B. yarrelli.[1][4]

Taxonomy[edit]

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.[1] 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.[4] 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.[1][4] In contrast, Southeast Asian populations typically included in B. bagarius likely represents a separate species.[1]

Aquarium[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e 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. 
  2. ^ Bagarius Bleeker, 1853
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Bagarius bagarius" in FishBase. January 2012 version.
  4. ^ a b c 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. 

5. 'Giant Baghair caught in Jamuna' in The Daily Star (Bangladesh), May 12, 2009]

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