IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)


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Giant pangasius

The giant pangasius, Paroon Shark[2] or Chao Phraya giant catfish (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is a species of freshwater fish in the shark catfish family (family Pangasiidae) of order Siluriformes, found in the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins in Indochina. These fish are benthopelagic swimmers.[3] It has declined drastically mainly due to overfishing and it is now considered Critically Endangered.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit source | edit]

Giant pangasius in Prague Sea aquraium

The giant pangasius is pigmented with dusky melanophores. It has a wide, flat, whiskerless head. It has a silver, curved underside and a dark brown back. Its dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins are dark gray and the first soft ray is extended into a filament. Full-grown adults can reach 300 centimetres (120 in) SL in length and weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb).[3]

Behavior[edit source | edit]

Juveniles and adults feed on crustaceans and fishes. The giant pangasius is a migratory species. These fish typically spawn just prior to the monsoon season.[3]

Relationship to humans[edit source | edit]

Fishing of this species used to be accompanied by religious ceremonies and rites. It is often mentioned in textbooks, news media, and popular press. This fish is a popular food fish and marketed fresh.[3]

These fish sometimes appear in the aquarium fish hobby. Most specimens do not reach their full size without an extremely large aquarium or pond. There is even a "balloon" form of this fish where the fish has an unusually short and stocky body.

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b Jenkins, A., Kullander, F.F. & Tan, H.H. (2007). Pangasius sanitwongsei. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  2. ^ Pangasius sanitwongsei - iucnredlist.org
  3. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Pangasius sanitwongsei" in FishBase. February 2012 version.


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