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Scientific Name Pangasianodon gigas  Chevey, 1931
Common Names Giant Mekong Catfish
Mekong-malle (Denmark), Pla Buk (Thai)
Type Locality Laos [original locality: Mekong River system, Pnom-Penh, Cambodia].
Synonym(s) Pangasius gigas, Pangasius paucidens
Pronunciation Pang ah see ah naw don - gig ass
Etymology The generic name is derived from Pangasius + an (Greek for without)+odon (Greek for tooth); in reference to the toothless state of the adult fish. The specific epithet means a giant in Latin, and refers to the huge size of this species.
Hop to next section Species Information
Size 3000mm or 118.1" SL. Find near, nearer or same sized spp.
Identification The center of the eye above the horizontal line through the mouth angle in juveniles; eye totally below the level of mouth angle in subadults and adults. The maxillary and mandibular barbels well developed in juveniles, mandibular barbels becoming rudimentary in subadults and adults. Gigantic size; oral teeth and gill rakers present in small juveniles, absent at about 30-50 cm SL; dorsal, pelvic and pectoral fins without filamentous extensions.
Sexing Females are fuller-bodied.
General Remarks Shows one of the fastest growth rates of any fish in the world, reaching 150-200 kg in six years. A migratory species, but distances and destinations unknown.
Hop to next section Habitat Information
Distribution Asia: endemic to the Mekong basin where it has become rare due to overexploitation. International trade banned (CITES I, since 1.7.1975; CMS Appendix I).
Mekong (click on these areas to find other species found there)

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IUCN Red List Category Critically Endangered, range map and more is available on the IUCN species page. Last assessed 2011.
pH 6.0 - 7.6
Temperature 20.0-28.0°C or 68-82.4°F (Show species within this range)
Hop to next section Husbandry Information
Feeding A benthic carnivore. User data.
Furniture Needs vast amount of open space for swimming room and some plants to help reduce the nervous nature of the fish. Irrespective of its endangered status, not a fish for the home aquarium.
Compatibility Will eat much smaller fishes, but peaceful with fishes of its own size or larger. An extremely nervous fish that is best kept in shoals but otherwise alone.
Suggested Tankmates Not recommended for home aquaria.
Breeding Not reported, although it is widely raised in ponds for food. In the wild, it spawns in estuaries and like many large catfish has a huge migratory range.
Breeding Reports There is no breeding report.
Hop to next section Further Information
Reference Bulletin de la Société Zoologique de France v. 55 (no. 7) [for 1930], pp 538, Figs. 1-2.
Registered Keepers There is no registered keeper.
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Last Update 2024 Mar 31 08:26 (species record created: 2001 Dec 22 00:00)