Pangasianodon Hypophthalmus Classification Essay

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Pangasiidae (Shark catfishes)
Etymology: Pangasianodon:The Vietnamese name of a fish + Greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.5 - 7.5; dH range: 2 - 29; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical; 22°C - 26°C (Ref. 13371); 19°N - 8°N

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: Mekong, Chao Phraya, and Maeklong basins. Introduced into additional river basins for aquaculture.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 130 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7432); max. published weight: 44.0 kg (Ref. )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Fins dark grey or black; 6 branched dorsal-fin rays; gill rakers normally developed; young with a black stripe along lateral line and a second long black stripe below lateral line, large adults uniformly grey (Ref. 12693). Dark stripe on the middle of anal fin; dark stripe in each caudal lobe; small gill rakers regularly interspersed with larger ones (Ref. 43281).

Inhabits large rivers (Ref. 12693). Omnivorous (Ref. 6459), feeding on fish and crustaceans as well as on vegetable debris (Ref. 12693). A migratory species, moving upstream of the Mekong from unknown rearing areas to spawn in unknown areas in May-July and returning to the mainstream when the river waters fall seeking rearing habitats in September -December (Ref. 37772). South of the Khone Falls, upstream migration occurs from October to February, with peak in November-December. This migration is triggered by receding water and appears to be a dispersal migration following the lateral migration from flooded areas back into the Mekong at the end of the flood season. Downstream migration takes place from May to August from Stung Treng to Kandal in Cambodia and further into the Mekong Delta in Viet Nam. The presence of eggs during March to August from Stung Treng to Kandal indicates that the downstream migration is both a spawning and a trophic migration eventually bringing the fish into floodplain areas in Cambodia and Viet Nam during the flood season (Ref. 37770). Common in the lower Mekong, where the young are collected for rearing in floating fish cages. In the middle Mekong it is represented by large individuals that lose the dark coloration of the juveniles and subadults and become grey without stripe (Ref. 12693). One of the most important aquaculture species in Thailand (Ref. 9497). A photo of a 44 kg individual was said to have been featured in a Thai magazine (J.F. Helias, pers. comm., Fishing Adventures Thailand, e-mail: Such a maximum weight also seems reasonable based on length-weight relationship for this species. Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; not recommended for home aquariums; minimum aquarium size >150 cm (Ref. 51539).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Assuming same reproductive mode as P. conchophilus.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Roberts, T.R. and C. Vidthayanon, 1991. Systematic revision of the Asian catfish family Pangasiidae, with biological observations and descriptions of three new species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philad. 143:97-144. (Ref. 7432)

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: public aquariums

FAO(Aquaculture: production, species profile; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us


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Special reports

Check for Aquarium maintenance | Check for Species Fact Sheets | Check for Aquaculture Fact Sheets

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Summary page | Point data | Common names | Photos

Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | BOLDSystems | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | ECOTOX | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GloBI | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | Public aquariums | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | Wikipedia(Go, Search) |
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World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].

Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00676 (0.00381 - 0.01199), b=3.06 (2.90 - 3.22), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245).

Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.1   ±0.46 se; Based on food items.

Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (tm=4-5; assuming tmax >10).

Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (78 of 100) .

Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.

Wild populations of this specieswere once an important food source in Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Viet Nam. Roberts (1993) noted the disappearance of wild adults from Thailand during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. By the early 1990’s, this species remained abundant only in Cambodia (MRC 1992). There are indications that Cambodian populations have dropped dramatically in 2006. Cambodian fishermen (age 40+, n=43) estimate that overall catch of this fish has declined by 68% since the 1980’s (Z. Hogan, unpublished data). Individually, older fishers report that catch per fisher has declined by as much as 99% since 1980 from several tons per season to 10-100 kg per season. In the largest fishing lots of the Tonle Sap Lake, catches of the species have dropped by over 90% – from about 100 tons 20 years ago to just five or even one ton today. While adult fish are still present in the fishery, fishers have not caught the largest class of fish (35-80 kg) since 1972. Fishers in the Tonle Sap River bagnet reported 97 adult fish in 2004, 222 in 2005, and three in 2006. Once common in breeding sites in Chao Phraya basin, it is now rare and only escapee or semi-captive populations are common.

Despite declining wild populations, the species remains a common and popular aquaculture species in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam with thousands of tons produced annually.

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