C. bankanensis (above) & C. chaca
C. bankanensis (left) & C. chaca
Close-up of dorsal view of head
Video - uncommon movement
Pair, male in cave
Male, close-up of face
Skin pores with possible sensory function
A well-fed adult
Male in cave with eggs
Eggs in cave
Fry, one day old
Fry, two days old
Fry, six days old
Fry, seven days old
Fry, 10 days old
Fry, 13 days old
Fry, 14 days old
Fry, 17 days old
Fry, three weeks old
Fry, 22 days old
Fry, 24 days old
Fry, four weeks old
Juvenile, one month old
Juvenile, two months old
Juvenile, three months old
Juveniles, four months old
Juveniles, four months old; Dorsal view
|Cat-eLog Data Sheet|
|Scientific Name||Chaca chaca (Hamilton, 1822)|
|Common Names||Frogmouth Catfish
Angler Catfish, Giant-mouth Cat, Indian Chaca, Indischer Großmaulwels (Germany), Squarehead Catfish
|Type Locality||Northeastern Bengal.|
|Synonym(s)||Chaca buchanani, Chaca lophioides, Platystacus chaca|
|Pronunciation||CHA kah - chack ah|
|Etymology||Chaca: The name comes from the local name of the fish, which is probably derived from the sound it makes when irritated.|
|Articles|| - CotM 2001 March
- Shane's World Species Feeding Chaca chaca
- Shane's World Reproduction Breeding Chaca
|Size||200mm or 7.9" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.|
|Identification||The species of the catfish genus Chaca are easily identified by their extremely large and severely dorsoventrally depressed head, caudal fin with greatly enlarged procurrent rays, and tuberculate skin, often with fimbriate skin flaps on the head and sometimes on the body. The genus forms the monotypic family Chacidae, whose phylogenetic affinities to other catfishes remains unclear despite numerous studies.
C. chaca is a chocolate brown while the similar C. bankanensis is a brighter orange-brown.
|Sexing||Males are larger and longer while females are shorter and more bulky.|
|Distribution||Asia: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaya and Indonesia. Reported from Myanmar.
Indian waters, North Eastern India Waters, Padma, Ganges (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Indian waters, North Eastern India Waters, Padma, Jamuna, Brahmaputra (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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|IUCN Red List Category||Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2009.|
|pH||6.0 - 8.0|
|Temperature||22.0-24.0°C or 71.6-75.2°F (Show species within this range)|
|Other Parameters||Curiously Chaca spp. appear to lower the pH of their aquariums, much faster than the usual pH drop of a neglected tank (often to lower than pH 6.0 with no apparent ill effects to the fish). Thus regular water changes and pH testing are required particularly in a smaller species tank. Buffering may be required in some instances. Some authors report the premature death of feeder fishes that do not tolerate lower - or quick shifts in - pH levels. There is an argument that Chaca species affect their prey chemically, but I feel this is unlikely and would cause more noticeable effect in the confines of an aquarium. What is interesting to note however is that Chaca spp. are considered poisonous by locals, particularly if stepped on. Maybe we are looking at a chemical mechanism developed by a very inactive fish to taste as bad a possible to predators. Another theory still is that this excess acidity is a side effect of the strong digestive juices required by a fish that eats its prey whole.|
|Feeding||Baensch states that after acclimatization pellet food is accepted. I have observed hungry young C. bankanensis eating Tetra Prima (sold in the US as Tetra colorbits) soon after import. On the contrary, long time keepers of Chaca persistently try dried or even frozen food to no avail. Perhaps only young fish will learn to accept "alternative" foods. Either way, a Chaca keeper should be prepared to supply live fish on a regular basis.|
|Furniture||A sandy substrate is suggested for all species of Chaca. Some leaf litter is appreciated by this fish although Java moss and plants that do not grow too tall are also effective. Hiding places are not required given subdued lighting.|
|Compatibility||An irrepressible predator of small, especially bottom feeding fishes. Fast moving, surface dwelling fishes in tall tank (15''+) are unmolested. That said, anything that comes within range of a hungry Chaca's mouth will rarely survive. In my opinion, one for the species tank.|
|Suggested Tankmates||See compatibility section.|
|Breeding||This fish has been bred in captivity. A summary of the details follows:
Diet consisted of tubifex, shrimp, small fishes, earthworms and chopped beef heart. A group of 4 fish were kept in a 36 x 18 x 18 bare tank containing a 8'' x 3'' diameter pipe. Spawning occurs in the pipe with all other fish outside. A single (probably male) fish remained to guard the eggs, these hatched 3 days later. Parental care was not observed, yet neither was predation. 10 days after the eggs were laid the fry became free swimming. The next day they began feeding on newly hatched brineshrimp and sifted daphnia. Nearly 400 fry were raised to 1.5''. They developed steadily and uniformly among the brood.
|Breeding Reports||There is no breeding report.|
|Reference||An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges, pp 140, 374, Pl. 28 (fig. 43).|
|Registered Keepers||Keeping this species? Why not .
There are 22 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
|Wishlists||Love this species? Click the heart to add it to your wish list.
There are 2 wishes to keep this species, see who wants what.
|Spotters||Spotted this species somewhere? Click the binoculars!
There are 5 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
|More on Chaca chaca|
|Look up Chaca chaca on AquaticRepublic.com|
|Look up Chaca chaca on Fishbase|
|Look up Chaca chaca on Encyclopedia of Life|
|Look up Chaca chaca on Global Biodiversity Information Facility|
|LFS label creator.|
|Last Update||2020 Oct 05 14:27 (species record created: 2001 Apr 20 00:00)|