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Pangasianodon gigas  Chevey, 1931

Mekong giant catfish

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; potamodromous (Ref. 51243).   Tropical

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 300 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30857); 235.0 cm SL (female); max. published weight: 350.0 kg (Ref. 43281)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 2; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-8; Anal soft rays: 35; Vertebrae: 48. Body without stripes; posterior nostril located near anterior nostril; 7 branched dorsal-fin rays; gill rakers rudimentary or absent; fins grey, never black (Ref. 12693). The center of the eye above the horizontal line through the mouth angle in juveniles; eye totally below the level of mouth angle in subadults and adults. The maxillary and mandibulary pairs of barbels well developed in juveniles; mandibulary barbels become rudimentary in subadults and adults (Ref. 9448). Gigantic size; oral teeth and gill rakers present in small juveniles, absent at about 30-50 cm SL; dorsal, pelvic and pectoral fins without filamentous extensions (Ref. 43281). Distinguished from other large catfish in the Mekong by its lack of teeth and the almost complete absence of barbels (Ref. 2686)

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

Asia: endemic to the Mekong basin where it has become rare due to overexploitation. International trade banned (CITES I, since 1.7.1975; CMS Appendix I).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

A migratory species (Ref. 37772) which occurs in medium to large-sized rivers (Ref. 12975). Feeds on detritus and algae on the bottom (Ref. 58784); feeds only on vegetation in the river but takes other food in captivity; little is known on its general pattern of life and migratory journeys for spawning (Ref. 2686). Shows one of the fastest growth rates of any fish in the world, reaching 150 to 200 kg in 6 years (Ref. 12693). Cited in the Guinness Book of Records as largest freshwater fish (Ref. 6472). Marketed fresh (Ref. 12693). Maximum length of 300 cm needs confirmation. Threatened due to over harvesting and habitat loss (Ref. 58490).

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.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: experimental
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.7500   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.3   ±0.17 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Assuming tm=5-10).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Very high vulnerability (76 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.