Cat-eLog Right Arrow Bagridae Right Arrow Rita

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Rita rita  (Hamilton, 1822)
Common Names Bengal Catfish
Whale Catfish
Type Locality Bengal estuaries.
Synonym(s) Arius ritoides, Pimelodus rita, Rita ritoides
Pronunciation REET ah - REE tah
Etymology The name Rita is derived from the local name of the fish. 
Jump to next section Species Information
Size 1500mm or 59.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Bagrid catfishes of the genus Rita Bleeker, 1854 are found in large rivers throughout the Indian subcontinent and Myanmar, and are capable of reaching sizes to 1500 mm TL (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991), although mature specimens of ca. 200-300 mm SL are more commonly encountered. The genus is diagnosed by the following synapomorphies (Mo, 1991): single pair of mandibular barbels, elongated Weberian apparatus firmly sutured to the basioccipital, and the sensory canal on the posttemporal enclosed within the bone.

Distinguished by its small eyes, purplish gray color, top of head covered by thin skin, and vomerine teeth in two broad ovoid patches.
Sexing Males have an elongate genital papilla in front of the anal fin.
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Northern part of the Indian subcontinent, primarily in the Ganges River drainage.
Indian waters, North Eastern India Waters, Padma, Ganges (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Status Least Concern
pH 5.8 - 7.2
Temperature 18.0-26.0°C or 64.4-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Readily eats all manner of live and prepared foods. Will eat smaller fishes.
Furniture Provide plenty of driftwood as hiding places.
Compatibility Although a fairly peaceful fish, it will eat smaller tankmates and is therefore best kept only with large, robust fishes. Extremely large cyprinids like Labeo spp. are ideal tankmates.
Breeding Not reported.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
Reference An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges, pp 165, 376, Pl. 24 (fig. 53).
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Last Update 2019 Sep 18 01:00 (species record created: 2003 Jan 11 00:00)