Cat-eLog Right Arrow Siluridae Right Arrow Wallago

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Wallago attu  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Common Names Helicopter Catfish
Freshwater Shark, Helikoptermalle (Denmark), Mully Catfish, Pla Khao (Thailand), Tapah (Indonesia), Trey Sanday (Cambodia)
Type Locality Malabar, India.
Synonym(s) Pinniwallago kanpurensis, Silurus attu, Wallagonia attu
Pronunciation wall AH go - ah two
Etymology Wallago: After its Telugu and Tamil names Walaga (Telugu and Tamil are both Dravidian languages of South India). attu: After its Malayalam name Attu Vaalay (Malayalam is another Dravidian language South India).
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 2000mm or 78.7" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification 1) Mouth extends back beyond eye.
2) maxillary barbels longer than pelvic fin.
3) 24-30 gill rakers on the first arch.
4) 77-96 anal-fin rays.
2000mm is the maximum recorded length, due to over fishing and habitat destruction, specimens over 1800 mm are nowadays very rare.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution South and Southeast Asia, including Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Pakistan Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Indian waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Bangladesh Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Myanmar Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Nepal Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Sri Lanka Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Thailand Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Vietnam waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Laos Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Cambodia waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Pacific, Malaysia Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Indonesian Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Near Threatened
pH 6.0 - 7.6
Temperature 19.0-29.0°C or 66.2-84.2°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters Not important, a large migratory fish found everywhere but highland streams. Resistant to poor water quality, including high levels of heavy metals.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding According to Smith (1945) in his Freshwater Fishes of Siam, ''Their great size, large mouth, and formidable teeth enable them to kill and devour almost every kind of fish.'' Their diet in the wild is consists of mainly cyprinids (barbs, Rasboras, etc).
Furniture Not a suitable aquarium fish. In nature, inhabits grassy margins of deep, still or slow-flowing ponds or pools with a mud or silt substrate near the banks of rivers.
Compatibility See feeding. Handle with care : this species bites strongly if handled!
Suggested Tankmates None.
Breeding In nature, spawns during the pre-monsoon season, from June to August. Normally a bottom dweller, it rises to the surface to breed. Unluckily for the fish, the courting pairs are so absorbed in each other that they readily fall prey to fishermen.
Has been bred commercially in fish farms in Malaysia.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae, pp 378, Pl. 75.
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There are 4 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 4 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2019 Sep 14 06:06 (species record created: 2001 Jun 10 00:00)