Tiger Spatula Catfish

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Tiger Spatula Catfish
Tiger Spatula (Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum)

Tiger Spatula ( Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum )

Cohort : Otomorpha
Sub-cohort : Ostariophysi
Order : Catfish (Siluriformes)
Family : Antennae (Pimelodidae)
Genre : Pseudoplatystoma
Type : Tiger Spatula Catfish
Scientific name
Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum
( Valenciennes , 1840)

The tiger spatula ( Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum ), engl. Tiger Catfish, Tiger Sorubim or Shovel Nose Catfish, Port. Caparari also called Suluwi, Cabezona, Pirambucu or Bagre Rayado is one of the large predatory fish in South America .


Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum was also referred to synonymously as Platystoma punctatum , Platystoma tigrinum or Platystoma truncatum , these names are no longer in use. The tiger spatula catfish belongs to the family of the antenna catfish (Pimelodidae), which is represented with some species in South America. Some of them like the large Pseudoplatystoma garciamarquezi from the Río Magdalena in Colombia are threatened with extinction.


The tiger spatula is characterized by a robust build with long antenna-like barbels. Characteristic on the flanks are the black stripes and spots on a silver / bronze to golden brown background, which have earned it the name tiger catfish. Due to their pattern, which varies greatly from the water type, they are ideally camouflaged in beds of herbs, islands of water plants and under sunken trees, where they can lurk unnoticed for prey . Pseudoplatystoma tigrinum differs from Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum in that it has more intense and broader stripes and spots, whereby the stripes of P. tigrinum are mostly Y-shaped.

Tiger spatula catfish are a maximum of 1.30 meters long and weigh around 30 kilograms. The largest P. tigrinum caught on a fishing rod from the Rio Nhamunda in Amazonia / Brazil weighed 40 kilograms.


The original range of the Tiger Spatula Catfish is the Amazon in Peru and Brazil , and the Orinoco in Venezuela . It is also found in lowland rivers in Bolivia , Colombia , Ecuador and French Guiana . Its southern distribution area is in the great rivers of the Río de la Plata , Rio Paraná and Río Uruguay in Argentina , Paraguay and Uruguay . It has now spread to most of the waters of tropical South America or was brought in by humans, for example in the Rio Machado in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais , Guaporé and Marmoré . In Thailand it was introduced as a fishing fish for large pond systems.

Way of life

The tiger spatula prefers to stay in small groups in the main stream of large rivers, often at great depths. The catfish show a relatively high adaptability and live from the upper reaches of the rivers, below rapids and waterfalls to the river mouth in brackish water . In the rainy season they migrate following their prey into the flooded forests and return to the main streams that are constantly carrying water during the dry season . It is one of the demersal soil dwellers and migrates to the spawning grounds during spawning time. The species finds ideal living conditions at water temperatures of 22 ° C to 26 ° C, a pH value of 6.2 to 7.2 and a water hardness of one dH to 20. Tiger spatula catfish predatorily feed on crabs, shrimps and smaller fish . With the help of their sensitive barbels and sensory organs, they specialize in hunting prey in murky water and at night. In terms of their diet, they are considered opportunists and can devour relatively large prey fish with their mouths.


The tiger spatula is an important food fish that is caught in gill nets. Because of their size, they are also popular sport fish, which are fished in natural waters and fishing ponds from Brazil to Colombia. Up to a certain size, the fish can also be kept in the aquarium, where they like to stay in shaded areas with aquatic plants and hiding places and only develop activity at night. Tiger spatula catfish are impressive animals for large public show aquariums. They can be kept in groups together with other larger fish such as the Pacu .


  • Baensch / Riehl: Aquarium Atlas Volume 4. Mergus Verlag, Osnabrück, ISBN 3-88244-105-4 .
  • Michael Goulding: The Fishes and the Forest, Explorations in Amazonian Ecology , University of California Press, 1981, ISBN 978-0-520-04131-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Tiger Spatula Catfish on Fishbase.org (English)
  2. http://www.ibcperu.org/doc/isis/7162.pdf  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.ibcperu.org  
  3. matupás
  4. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from April 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.pescamazon.com
  5. ^ Fishing World Records
  6. Archived copy ( memento of the original from October 13, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.megafishingthailand.com
  7. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/profile.php?genus=Pseudoplatystoma&species=tigrinum&id=217
  8. http://www.scotcat.com/pimelodidae/pseudoplatystoma_tigrinum.htm