Cat-eLog Right Arrow Bagridae Right Arrow Bagrichthys

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific NameBagrichthys macracanthus  (Bleeker, 1854)
Common NamesBlack Lancer
Humped Stinging Catfish
Type LocalityEast Sumatra, at the confluence of Lamatang and Enim rivers, Indonesia.
Synonym(s)Bagroides macracanthus
Pronunciationbag RICK thiss - mak rah KAN thuss
EtymologyBagrichthys: From bagrus, the name of a catfish genus frequently used to form generic names, and the Greek ichthys, meaning fish. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 230mm or 9.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
IdentificationMembers of the highly specialized and unusually-shaped bagrid catfish genus Bagrichthys Bleeker, 1858, live in large muddy rivers throughout Southeast Asia and are characterised by their elongate and laterally compressed caudal peduncle, the dorsally-directed serrations on the posterior edge of the dorsal-fin spine, gill membranes united but free from the isthmus, and a long adipose fin without a free posterior margin (Roberts, 1989).

The other three species of Bagrichthys do not match the fish pictured here. B. hypselopterus from Sumatra and Borneo grows too large (TL 400mm = 16'') and even at a smaller size (TL 234mm = 9'') has a much steeper predorsal profile. The ''lance'' dorsal fin is long enough to reach the base of the caudal fin and exhibits a flowing extension. If the fish pictured here grew larger (and taking into account the change of the fishes shape from juvenile to that pictured here) I would fully accept that this is our fish, but it appears to have stopped developing at its current size. B. macropterus and B. micranodus share a tan and cream colouration and lack such a striking dorsal fin, although the latter displays the characteristic chalk-line.
SexingMales genital papillae is visible. Pictures in various hobbyist books appear to show this even on quite young fish. Females do not have this feature.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
DistributionSundaland, Thailand
Pacific, Greater Sunda Island Rivers (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Thailand Waters, Peninsular Thailand Waters (click on these areas to find other species found there)
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pH5.5 - 7.0
Temperature24.0-28.0°C or 75.2-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other ParametersNo more than a gentle current.
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
FeedingReadily accepts prepared foods. Frozen brineshrimp appears to produce the most activity from the fish and frozen bloodworm is also relished.
FurnitureThe fish loves tangles of plants which it carefully inspects for morsels of food after lights out. A suitably sized pipe or cave is required for this fish as it can quite easily damage itself in panic if this is not provided and easily entered and left by the fish. Heater elements should be guarded or positioned so that they are not used for refuge - this fish is prone to heater burns.
CompatibilityA timid fish that does well in a sizeable aquarium inhabited by smaller fish. Although a night-time prowler, even small fish are safe enough.
Suggested TankmatesShoals of barbs and rasboras are ideal and their ceaseless activity counters this fishes extreme shyness. The presence of larger shoals of fish appears to give the black lancer more confidence than it would have in, for example, a catfish only aquarium. In addition, the other fishes increased activity at feeding time often prompts the lancer to leave its lair in the quest for food. Adult lancers require a lot of room if to be kept together. I have a pair that lightly quarrel (nipped fins, the odd scratch) in a 48''x30''x30'' aquarium!
Jump to next section Further Information
ReferencesNatuurkd. Tijdschr. Neder. Indiëv. 7 - pp88
Registered Keepers(1) Jools (k: 2), who also notes: "The male was four years younger.", (2) Hephaestus, (3) Silurus, (4) Attu, (5) synoguy, (6) H-TRAIN, (7) Suckermouth, (8) Barbie, (9) invaderwithkey, (10) Jeox (p: 2), (11) jprp, (12) chemma, (13) Junttis (k: 3), (14) markhinch, (15) cory777 (k: 2), (16) MatsP (p: 2, k: 4), (17) zigster, (18) norm145, (19) Richard B (k: 2), (20) Margie, (21) judeblackburn, (22) Jass, (23) Sean B, (24) Kif, (25) Fishybotany, (26) mcaquatic, (27) 1Opsophagos.

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Breeding ReportsNone.
Article - CotM 2001 January
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Last Update2013 Jul 19 00:09 (species record created: 2001 Apr 13 00:00)