Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Feeds on fish, crabs and fruits (Ref. 6868). The species is introduced but not established in Florida.
  • Lundberg, J.G. and M.W. Littmann 2003 Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes). p. 432-446. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36506)
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Distribution

South America: Amazon and Orinoco River basins.
  • Lundberg, J.G. and M.W. Littmann 2003 Pimelodidae (Long-whiskered catfishes). p. 432-446. In R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil. (Ref. 36506)
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Amazon and Orinoco River basins: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 800 mm TL
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Max. size

134 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637)); max. published weight: 44.2 kg (Ref. 40637)
  • IGFA 2001 Database of IGFA angling records until 2001. IGFA, Fort Lauderdale, USA. (Ref. 40637)
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; pH range: 5.5 - 6.8; dH range: 10
  • 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

Known to occur at temperatures ranging from 24-29 °C, ph range of 5-9, and an alkalinity range of 42-142. Is mainly nocturnal (Ref. 9086).
  • Lopez, H.L., R.C. Menni and A.M. Miguelarena 1987 Lista de los peces de agua dulce de la Argentina. Biologia Acuatica No. 12, 50 p. (Instituto de Limnologia "Dr. Raul A. Ringuelet").
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

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


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
  • International Game Fish Association 1991 World record game fishes. International Game Fish Association, Florida, USA.
  • 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)
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Wikipedia

Redtail catfish

This article is about the South American redtail catfish. For the Asian redtail catfish, see Hemibagrus wyckioides.

The redtail catfish, Phractocephalus hemioliopterus, is a pimelodid (long-whiskered) catfish named for its orange-red caudal fin. In Venezuela it is known as cajaro and in Brazil it is known as pirarara.[1] It is the only extant species of the genus Phractocephalus. This fish originates from South America in the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo river basins. Despite reaching 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) in length and 80 kg (180 lb) in weight,[2] this fish is a common aquarium fish.

Extinct Phractocephalus[edit]

Although the redtail catfish is the only living representative of this genus, there are other members that date back to the upper Miocene. P. nassi was described in 2003, and is from Urumaco, Venezuela. Another undescribed member is known to exist from Acre, Brazil.[1] This genus has a minimum age of about 13.5 million years.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The redtail catfish is native to the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo river basins of South America.[1] It is found only in fresh water.[3]

Relationship to humans[edit]

Due to the potential large size of this species, redtail catfish are considered a game fish by anglers. The current (IGFA) world record for weight belongs to the Brazilian Gilberto Fernandes with 56 kg (123 lb 7 oz).[4]

It is said that the natives do not eat the meat of the Redtail catfish because it is black in coloration.[5] However, the redtail catfish has been hybridized with other fish such as the Tiger Shovelnose Pseudoplatystoma sp. Through the use of hormones in attempts to create a viable food fish, the Tiger redtail catfish; these hybrid fish sometimes make it into the aquarium hobby under a variety of common names.[6]

In the aquarium[edit]

The redtail catfish is an extremely popular fish in Amazonian themed exhibits at public aquaria, where they are often housed with other large fish such as Colossoma macropomum, Arapaima gigas, and other large catfish.

Juveniles are often available as aquarium fish despite their eventual large size. In an aquarium where they may be well-fed, these fish can grow quite rapidly.[5] Weekly feeding is appropriate for this catfish; overfeeding is a common cause of death in this species.[6] It feeds heavily on live and dead fishes and other meat. Even as a juvenile of only a few inches in length, they are able to swallow many of the more common aquarium fish such as tetras, and it is only appropriate to house this fish with other species of relatively large size. Redtail catfish also have a habit of swallowing inedible objects in the aquarium. Though these are often regurgitated, both the swallowing and the regurgitation can present a problem for the fish, and these objects are best kept out of the aquarium.[6] It is important that these fish are housed in large aquariums. A minimum size tank for a full grown (4-5 feet) is 1000+ gallons.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lundberg, John G.; Aguilera, Orangel (2003). "The late Miocene Phractocephalus catfish (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) from Urumaco, Venezuela: additional specimens and reinterpretation as a distinct species" (PDF). Neotropical Ichthyology 1 (2): 97–109. doi:10.1590/S1679-62252003000200004. 
  2. ^ Fishing World Records: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus. Retrieved 9 May 2013
  3. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Phractocephalus hemioliopterus" in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  4. ^ "Catfish, redtail (pirarara)". World Record Search. International Game Fish Association. 3 April 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Axelrod, Herbert R. (1996). Exotic Tropical Fishes. T.F.H. Publications. ISBN 0-87666-543-1
  6. ^ a b c "PlanetCatfish::Catfish of the Month::January 2000". PlanetCatfish.com. 2006-05-11. Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
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