South American Red Tailed Catfish, Banana Catfish, Red-tailed Catfish, Redtail Catfish, Rotflossen-Antennenwels (Germany), Rtc (Abbreviation) - Phractocephalus hemioliopterus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
by Julian Dignall, uploaded January 01, 2000
This article has had 24401 hits. Photo credits for the images used in this article can be found on the Cat-eLog page.
|Cat-eLog Data Sheet|
|Scientific Name||Phractocephalus hemioliopterus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)|
|Common Name(s)||South American Red Tailed Catfish
Banana Catfish, Red-tailed Catfish, Redtail Catfish, Rotflossen-Antennenwels (Germany), Rtc (Abbreviation)
|Type Locality||Rio Maranham, Brazil.|
|Synonym(s)||Phractocephalus bicolor, Silurus hemioliopterus|
|Etymology||(Greek)Phraktos=Fence + (Greek)kephale=head.|
|Size||1100mm (43.3") SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.|
|Identification||An unmistakable species - the only identification woes come when examining young hybrids which appear in the hobby from time to time. The amelanistic form (absence of pigmentation but no albino pink eyes) is only found in young fish and only lasts for a few weeks. The fish revert to their normal colouration thereafter.|
|Sexing||Unknown, although the tail colour (which varies between red and orange / pink) and darkness of the top of the head (which varies from black to grey with black spots) vary from fish to fish. These are more likely to be due to diet and mood than sexual differences.|
|Distribution||Throughout the Amazon system; Brazil, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru.
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there) (Click the map-icon to show/hide map of species distribution)
|pH||6.5 - 7.5|
|Temperature||21.0-26.0°C or 69.8-78.8°F (Show others within this range)|
|Feeding||The important fact in feeding these fish isn't what it's when. Red tails should only be fed sporadically. Once fed they become sluggish and so the time to feed a red tail can be gauged by the activity of the fish. It will become permanently active when hungry. Over-feeding can be disastrous and is a common cause of death in these fish. In the wild the fish eat fallen fruit, crustaceans and fish.|
|Furniture||The fish does not require cover although subdued lighting should be utilised. Aquarium decor and equipment should be selected and deployed for it's own care rather than that of the red-tail. Thus the required heavy external filtration and out-of-tank heating are recommended. Red tails are renowned for swallowing items within their tanks (I.E. heater clips, filter intakes etc.); gladly these are often regurgitated but can sometimes cause serious problems for the fish. The best policy is to have as much as possible outside the aquarium.|
|Compatibility||This fish is territorial within confined spaces and is certainly capable of killing other tankmates. Best kept 'home alone' unless a very large aquarium is to be provided.|
|Suggested Tankmates||Given sufficient space (and we are talking small ponds here or public aquaria) the fish can be successfully mixed with other large Pimelodids, Doradids, Cichlids and Characins.|
|Breeding||Impossible within the confines of an aquarium. Commercial breeding as food fish is practiced in South America, a spin off from which are the aforementioned imports of 'kittens'. Aquaculture has also given us hybrids of Red tails and Tiger Shovelnose (Pseudoplatystoma sp.) Also shown above is the inappropriately named white red tail which is very uncommon indeed.|
|References||Systema Ichthyol. - pp385|
|Registered Keepers||(1) arapaima, (2) Lornek8, (3) husky_jim, (4) roy.bryan, (5) bukster, (6) kntrygrl4lyfe (p: 2), (7) Rob Heydon, (8) RedTail Cat (p: 2), (9) Simonh1, (10) steelhead99, (11) Jeox, (12) SuperLaz, (13) Matt123, (14) necrocanis, (15) vyperboy, (16) blurock, who also notes: "Name: Cooter", (17) doesdavid, (18) pmbooper, who also notes: "10 inch red tail in 1000 gal.", (19) smegforbrains, (20) RedTailMike, (21) Arherp, (22) tezr, (23) dean30bb, (24) jprp, (25) ndcp18, (26) Redtailrob, (27) EVK5, (28) 0210Miyo, (29) Djthomas, (30) steve_ansell1, (31) miles3 (p: 2), (32) Bimmerboy12, (33) Mqktandy, (34) TheFishGuy, (35) robb harriston, (36) highoctane500, (37) clarenas, (38) gdc7688, (39) Benjamin Goh, (40) arapaimag (k: 10), (41) kennethqc (p: 2), (42) Seagirt, who also notes: "Lives up to it's reputation as a big eater. Seems to get along well with everyone else in the pond and generally sits at the bottom after it's eaten.", (43) ROV1, who also notes: "Eats everything taking by hand now", (44) freshfishing, (45) agusmeteor (k: 2), (46) slimrs, (47) ruip, (48) SuzukaS2k (p: 2), (49) mosin nagant147, (50) Pcpolo111, (51) Divinehammer, who also notes: "temp housing in my 240, will be going into a 1500 plywood and Acrylic tank, with in 2 years will be housed in a 3000 gallon plywood and Acrylic tank in my new house.", (52) BMLDN.
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|Last Update||2013 Jul 18 21:35 (species record created: 2001 Apr 22 00:00)|