Catfish of the Month Right Arrow March 1998 • Article © Julian Dignall, uploaded March 01, 1998



Tiger Shovelnose Catfish, Tsn (Abbreviation) - Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum   (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)

The photo above is an 18" specimen. I took this photo in the middle of a yawn (the catfish, not me). I was a great fan of keeping these large catfish until I visited the Tennessee Aquarium in Chatanooga, USA. They had an enormous Amazon species tank which is pictured in the photo on the right. The tank was inhabited by, amongst others, the pictured tiger shovelnose, an adult red-tailed catfish, shoals of oscars (which were the smallest fish in the tank!), eye spot cichlids (Cichla ocellaris) and arrowana. To see a full-grown Tiger shovelnose cruising effortlessly without havng to turn round every 3 seconds made up my mind about keeping these and some other large catfish in anything smaller than a big pond. I remain a great fan.".


Copyright information for the images used in this article can be found on the species' full Cat-eLog page.

Jump to next section Cat-eLog Data Sheet
Scientific Name Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum  (Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1840)
Common Names Tiger Shovelnose Catfish
Tsn (Abbreviation)
Type Locality Brazil.
Synonym(s) Platystoma tigrinum
Pronunciation SUE doh plah tee stow mah
Etymology (Greek)Pseudos=False +(Greek)platys=flat +(Greek)stoma=mouth. 
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Jump to next section Species Information
Size 1050mm or 41.3" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification Vertical to slightly oblique black stripes; often has spots, which are thicker on the ventral side; great variation in stripe and spot patterns. Eigenmann recognized at least 14 varieties or subspecies based on colour patterns; easily confused with other members of the genus.
Sexing Unknown
Jump to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Widespread in the Amazon and Orinoco Basins
Amazon (click on these areas to find other species found there)
Orinoco (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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pH 6.0 - 7.6
Temperature 22.0-26.0°C or 71.6-78.8°F (Show species within this range)
Jump to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding Fish, crustaceans and literally anything that it finds tasty and small enough to eat. I have personally witnessed one of the fish pictured above eat a large freshwater stingray head first!
Furniture Large secured pieces of bogwood and rock.
Compatibility Will eat anything that isn't big enough to avoid being on the menu.
Breeding Unknown
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Jump to next section Further Information
References Hist. Nat. Poiss.v. 15 - pp10 - Pl. 422
Registered Keepers Keeping this species? Why not .
There are 63 registered keepers, view all "my cats" data.
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There are 7 records of this fish being seen, view them all.
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Last Update 2014 Apr 23 08:48 (species record created: 1998 Mar 01 11:22)

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