The Redtail Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) is a freshwater fish in the Pimedodidae family of long-whiskered catfish. It is a pimelodid.
The Redtail Catfish has a brownish spotted back with yellow sides and underbelly, and a red tail. Its body is elongated with a broad, flattened head. It has a pair of barbels (long fleshy, string structures) on the upper jaw and two pairs of barbels on the lower jaw.
Fish have scales, but the Redtail Catfish does not have scales. Instead of scales, it has slippery mucous-covered skin with bony plates called scutes.
It can grow to 140 centimetres (55 inches) in length.
It is found in South America in the Amazon, Orinoco, and Essequibo rivers of Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Bolivia, and Brazil. It is found in rivers, lakes, and streams.
It is benthic because it lives on the bottom of the river.
The Redtail Catfish feeds on fish, snails, and algae. Its flattened head enables it to shovel through soil to look for food.
The female lays thousands of eggs, which hatch after 3-10 days.
Location of photographs: Tbilisi Zoo, Georgia
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM