Redtail Catfish

One of three giant catfish species
Redtail Catfish Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Phractocephalus hemioliopterus
Redtail Catfish Physical Characteristics
Brown, Red, Black
10 to 15 years
40 to 90 pounds
Redtail Catfish Distribition

The redtail catfish is a big, vibrant fish that is belonging to the Amazon and Orinoco river containers of South America.

It just stays in freshwater streams and rivers. Unique for its brilliant red fins and huge dimension, this appealing fish is a prominent exhibition in fish tanks.

4 Remarkable Realities Regarding the Redtail Catfish

  • It utilizes its lengthy, delicate hairs to scent.
  • It can mature to 6 feet long.
  • Unlike various other catfish, it is an energetic and hostile killer.
  • It is among the 3 large catfish species belonging to the Amazon.

Redtail Catfish Classification and Scientific name

The fish’s scientific name is Phractocephalus hemioliopterus In Venezuela, it is called the cajaro In Brazil, it is called the pirarara It is the only extant species of the genus Phractocephalus

The Redtail Catfish is among the 3 large species of catfish in theAmazon The various other 2 are the piraiba and the jau.

Redtail Catfish Appearance

This fish is a pimelodid or lengthy- whiskered catfish. It is a big fish that can expand nearly 6 feet lengthy and have a leading weight of 180 extra pounds. A lot of redtail catfish, nonetheless, do not obtain this huge. They are normally 3 to 4 feet long.

Uncommon for a catfish, the redtail is really vibrant. It has a brownish- found back and yellow sides. The fish frequently has dark grey ranges with a strong, darker pattern on each side. Its most distinguishing characteristics are its brilliant red dorsal fin and the red caudal fin that provides this fish its name. It normally has a black body and a white stomach. It has a broad, level head with lengthy hairs.

Its combating spirit and brilliant, uncommon shades make it among one of the most unique- looking river fish.

Redtail catfish in the aquarium. The fish is a long-whiskered catfish.
Redtail catfish in the fish tank. The fish is a lengthy- whiskered catfish.Bk87/

Distribution, Population, and Environment

The redtail catfish is belonging to the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo River containers of South America. It stays in freshwater streams in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.

Redtail catfish are taken into consideration one of the most appealing catfish, and they are prominent in fish tank shows. Some areas where you can see them are:

  • Tennessee Fish Tank
  • Branson’s Wild Word
  • Zoo Leipzig
  • Dallas Globe Fish Tank

There is additionally an Eastern redtail catfish that is belonging to Thailand.

Redtail Catfish Predators and Victim

The redtail catfish’s principal predators are humans, that on a regular basis quest it as a video game fish. It is a big, hostile fish that normally controls its setting.

Unlike various other catfish species, the redtail does not hold on to all-time low and await target to technique. It is an energetic, energised killer that is understood to have a starved hunger. Red- trailed catfish are territorial fish that safeguard their searching premises boldy. They are great boxers that will certainly strike various other fish attempting to relocate in on their picked location.

Throughout the day, it is nearly stationary. In the evening, it enters search of target.

What does the redtail catfish eat?

The fish’s diet consists of:

  • Worms
  • Insects
  • Fruit
  • Shrimps
  • Crabs
  • Water plants

Reproduction and Life-span

The breeding period for the majority of redtail catfish is in between May and July. This fish has an uncommon breeding regimen. After encountering a male, a female catfish opens her mouth to obtain the male’s sperm. She after that lays the eggs, which she keeps in her forward fins. She transfers the sperm on the eggs and after that puts the eggs in a concealed nest.

The infant catfish hatch out concerning 5 days later on. An infant catfish is called a fry.

Redtail catfish have a lengthy life-span. They can live 15 years in bondage, yet they live also much longer in the wild. Bondage is difficult if they remain in a container that’s as well tiny for them.

Redtail Catfish in Angling and Food Preparation

Redtail catfish are an incredibly popular video game fish. Many individuals go to the Amazon area meaning to capture these and various other big, unique river fish. They are taken into consideration outstanding video game fish since they set up a tough fight. Their dimension and gorgeous shades additionally make them enjoyable for skilled fishermens to capture.

These enormous fish give a lot of meat. Locals of the Amazon area, nonetheless, do not eat them since their meat is dark. To establish redtails as a food resource, some fisheries have actually reproduced them with various other species like the Tiger Shovelnose. This pairing generates a crossbreed called the Tiger Redtail Catfish that has light- tinted meat.

There are several methods to prepare catfish. Its low cost and great taste have actually made it a staple of several foods. Among one of the most prominent methods is to powder it, period it, and deep- fry it. It is additionally a great fish to grill or bake. Catfish meat is thick, tender, and pleasant.


The redtail catfish is out the red listing of the International Union for the Preservation of Nature (IUCN). Population numbers are unidentified, yet the population shows up steady.

Colorful River Titan

This catfish is a striking fish with a combating spirit. It is great to eat and gorgeous to take a look at. If you obtain a possibility to see one in a fish tank, do not miss out on the possibility to see this titan of the Amazon.


  1. USGS: Nonindigenous Aquatic Species, Available here:
  2. Aquarium Source, Available here:
  3. Wikipedia, Available here:

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