Overview

Comprehensive Description

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).
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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).
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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
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Size

Maximum size: 390 mm TL
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Max. size

200 cm TL (male/unsexed; (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).
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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
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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.
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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).
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Diseases and Parasites

Rhabdochona Infestation 2. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Opisthorchis Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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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., 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)
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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
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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. 
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