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Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus  (Hancock, 1828)

Orinoco sailfin catfish
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Pterygoplichthys multiradiatus
Picture by Olson-Ringby, M.

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

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes (Catfish) > Loricariidae (Armored catfishes) > Hypostominae
Etymology: Pterygoplichthys: Greek, pterygion, diminutive of pteryx = wing, fin + Greek, hoplon = weapon + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; pH range: 6.5 - 7.8; dH range: 4 - 20.   Tropical; 23°C - 27°C (Ref. 1672); 10°N - 1°N, 68°W - 61°W

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 25 - 40 cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2059)

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

South America: Orinoco River basin. Reported from Argentina (Ref. 9086). Introduced and have established in Taiwan, mainland USA and Hawaii (Refs. 5723, 44091, 58503).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in streams and lakes (Ref. 44091) and in weedy, mud-bottomed canals (Ref. 5723). Benthic (Ref. 58302). Nocturnal, feeds on algae (Ref. 13371), but will also feed on worms, insect larvae, and other bottom-dwelling aquatic animals (Ref. 44091). Spawning period peaks once a year (Ref. 56986). Reproductive behavior includes digging of burrows for egg laying (Ref. 82067). May exhibit male parental care (Ref. 56986).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Fisch-Muller, Sonia | Collaborators

Burgess, W.E., 1989. An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Common names
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Estimates of some properties based on empirical models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01580 (0.00825 - 0.03026), b=2.98 (2.80 - 3.16), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-BS (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.2   ±0.12 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (tm=1; Fec = 1,983).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.