Sunday, February 27, 2011
February 27, 2011 : Tiger Catfish
Pseudoplatystoma is a genus of several South American catfish species of family Pimelodidae. The three species are known by a number of different common names. They inhabit the major rivers of north-eastern Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay and Brazil. They prefer the main channels and tend to stay at maximum depth. They have robust bodies, and are important food fish.
In their native waters, these fish may be called Surubí in guaraní. This name is also used in some Spanish speaker countries. In Peruvian Spanish is called Doncella or Zúngaro. P. corruscans may be called molequepintado. They often are referred to in the vernacular as or Bagre rayado or Pintadillo (tiger catfish or tiger–shovelnose). P. corruscans, P. fasciatum, and P. tigrinum are also known as Spotted Sorubim, Barred Sorubim, and Tiger Sorubim, respectively. This genus contains the fish commonly known as the tiger shovelnose catfish in the aquarium hobby, though the species in this genus are relatively easy to confuse.
Pseudoplatystoma species live in a diverse range of habitats such as great rivers, lakes, side channels, floating meadows, and flooded forests. P. fasciatum is found in river beds and sometimes in flooded forests. Though it is biologically similar to P. tigrinum, this fish seems to favor shadier streams. P. tigrinum occurs in estuarine zones, mainly upstream of the first rapids up to the basin's headwaters. They live in the main bed of slow or fast zones, and the juveniles particularly live in flooded forests.
Pseudoplatystoma species are all large, boldly striped or spotted catfishes. They are familiar due to their distinctively marked color patterns. They are also recognized due to a depressed head, an occipital process extending backward to contact the pre dorsal plate, and a very long fontanel.