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Pangas catfish, Pangasius pangasius (Hamilton, 1822)

Pangas catfish: Pangasius pangasius

Pangas catfish: Pangasius pangasius

Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Siluriformes (Catfishes)
Family: Pangasiidae (Shark catfishes)
Genus: Pangasius
Species: P. pangasius

Common/local names
English: Pungas catfish and Yellowtail catfish
Bangladesh: Pangas (পাঙ্গাস), Pungus (পাঙ্গুস) and Pungwas (পাঙ্গুয়াস)
India: Ponga, Pangas, Pangsa, Panghas, Pungas, Pangra, Periasi, Payas, Jellum, Banka-jella, Choluva-jella, Aie, Manga-keluthi and Coola-kellette (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Synonyms
Pangasius buchanani Valenciennes, 1840
Pangasius pangasius godavarii David, 1962
Pangasius pangasius pangasius (Hamilton, 1822)
Pangasius pangasius upiensis Srivastava, 1968
Pimelodus pangasius Hamilton, 1822

Distribution: Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Conservation status: Critically endangered in Bangladesh due to over exploitation and habitat loss (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: The body is elongated and laterally compressed. Upper surface of head is unpolished and snout obtusely rounded. Upper jaw longer than lower jaw and mouth gape moderate. Two pairs of barbels present. Dorsal spine serrated anteriorly. Pectoral spine comparatively strong than dorsal spine and serrated internally. Caudal; fin deeply forked. Lateral line complete.

Color on abdomen silvery, side of head contains golden tinge, above the lateral line whitish grey, silvery purple on flanks and yellowish green/dark on back.

Fin formula
D. 1/7; P1. 1/12; P2. 6; A. 3-4/26-29 (Rahman, 1989; IUCN Bangladesh, 2000)
B. ix-x; Di. 1/7; D2. 0; P. 1/12; V.6; a. 31-34 (4-5/27-29) (Bhuiyan, 1964)
D. I 6-7; A iv-v 26-29; P I 12-13; V i 5 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Maximum length and weight: Over 120 cm (Rahman, 2005), 120 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 150 cm (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991), 80 cm (IUCN Bangladesh) and 79 cm (Rahman, 1989).

Rahman (1989) recorded a weight of 4 Kg fish from Chadpur (Bangladesh).

Habitat: Found in freshwater and brackish water. Some common habitats are big rivers, floodplains, estuaries, canal etc. Usually inhibits lower portions of large rivers and estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Food and feeding: This fish is not only carnivorous species but also voracious. It also feeds on decaying animal and vegetative matter (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). In rivers it shows predatory on snails and other mollusks (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000; Rahman, 2005).

Breeding: Mainly breeds in estuary during rain (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Importance: Used as food fish in Bangladesh. It also a sporting fish. Has great economic importance because of its good flesh (Bhuiyan, 1964). Flesh of mature and older fish contains thick layer of fat  (Rahman, 2005). The liver of this fish contains vitamin ‘A’ (Seshan, 1940). However, Talwar and Jhingran (1991) mentioned that because of dirty feeding habits, this fish is not much liked.

Fishery info: They are exclusively caught in winter season (Bhuiyan, 1964). From July to August, a good fishery exists in the Gangetic estuaries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

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REFERENCES

Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, p. 79.

Cuvier G and Valenciennes A. 1840. Histoire naturelle des poissons. Tome quinzième. Suite du livre dix-septième. Siluroïdes. Histoire naturelle des poissons. v. 15: i-xxxi + 1-540, Pls. 421-455. [Valenciennes authored volume. i-xxiv + 1-397 in Strasbourg edition.]

David A. 1962. Brief taxonomic account of the gangetic Pangasius pangasius (Hamilton) with a description of a new subspecies from the Godavary. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences Section B v. 56 (no. 3): 136-156.

Hamilton F. 1822. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.

IUCN Bangladesh. 2000. Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Rahman AKA. 1989. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 179-180.

Rahman AKA. 2005. Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. xviii -263.

Seshan. 1940. In: Bhuiyan AL. 1964. Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, p. 79.

Srivastava GJ. 1968. Fishes of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Vishwavidyalaya Prakashan, Varanasi, India. Fishes of eastern Uttar Pradesh.: i-xxii + 1-163.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG. 1991. Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, pp. 613-614.

 

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Student, Department of Fisheries, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Email: nymphish10@gmail.com. More...

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