Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Osteoglossiformes
(Bony tongues) > Notopteridae
(Featherbacks or knifefishes) > Notopterinae
Etymology: Chitala: Bangladesh local name.
More on author: Gray.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; pelagic; potamodromous (Ref. 51243). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C
Asia: Mekong basin in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam; Chao Phraya and Meklong basins.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 100.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30857); max. published weight: 5.0 kg (Ref. 40637)
Distinguished from other members of the family by the presence of a row of large ocellated spots above the base of the anal fin (Ref. 27732). Differs from C. chitala in lacking silver or gold transverse streaks on dorsum and from C. blanci and C. lopis in lacking a basal pectoral spot (Ref. 7431).
Obligate air-breathing (Ref. 126274); Inhabits flowing waters of large and medium-sized rivers (Ref. 12693). Within the Mekong mainstream, it occurs in pools (Ref. 37770). Found in the basin-wide mainstream of the lower Mekong (Ref. 36667). A predator on surface-feeding fishes, crustaceans and insects, with a crepuscular or nocturnal activity pattern. Moves into inundated forest during the high water period from June to October. Individuals from the Great Lake are shipped to markets in Thailand (Ref. 12693).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Male guards the eggs (Ref. 12693).
Rainboth, W.J., 1996. Fishes of the Cambodian Mekong. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. FAO, Rome, 265 p. (Ref. 12693)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5166 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00468 (0.00218 - 0.01003), b=3.06 (2.86 - 3.26), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.7 ±0.57 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (73 of 100).