Cat-eLog Right Bagridae Right Bagrichthys

Down Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Bagrichthys macracanthus  (Bleeker, 1854)
Common Names Black Lancer
Humped Stinging Catfish
Type Locality East Sumatra, at the confluence of Lamatang and Enim rivers, Indonesia.
Synonym(s) Bagroides macracanthus
Pronunciation bag RICK thiss - mak rah KAN thuss
Etymology Bagrichthys: From bagrus, the name of a catfish genus frequently used to form generic names, and the Greek ichthys, meaning fish. 
Article Link - CotM Right 2001 Right January
Down Species Information
Size 250mm or 9.8" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Members 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.
Sexing Males genital papillae is visible. Pictures in various hobbyist books appear to show this even on quite young fish. Females do not have this feature.
Down Habitat Information
Distribution Asia: Thailand to Indonesia.
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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IUCN Red List Category Least Concern, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2018.
pH 5.5 - 7.0
Temperature 24.0-28.0°C or 75.2-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Other Parameters No more than a gentle current.
Down Husbandry Information
Feeding Readily accepts prepared foods. Frozen brineshrimp appears to produce the most activity from the fish and frozen bloodworm is also relished.
Furniture The 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.
Compatibility A 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 Tankmates Shoals 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!
Breeding Unknown.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Down Further Information
Reference Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië v. 7 (no. 1), pp 88.
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There are 31 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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Last Update 2020 Oct 24 06:39 (species record created: 2001 Apr 13 00:00)