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Red-tailed catfish

Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Description: The Red-tailed catfish has a broad head with long whiskers, dark black body and white underneath that extends from the mouth to the caudal fin. The tail is red and sometime the dorsal, pelvic and anal fins are also red.

Size: This catfish can reach five feet (1.5 m) or more in length and can weigh up to 180 pounds (82 kg), making them a favorite game fish in their native habitats.

Behavior: They eat during the evening and night and stay motionless during the day. These bottom-dwellers move about quite slowly. Red-tailed catfish are territorial fish.

Diet: They feed on fish, crustaceans and fallen fruits.

Senses: Catfish have the sense of sight, a well-developed tactile sense and their whiskers are sensitive and have chemical reception cells which are used as the sense of smell.

Communication: They communicate by making a clicking sound to warn off potential dangers.

Reproduction: They breed using external fertilization after laying their eggs.

Habitat/range: These freshwater fish can be found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds in the Amazon, Orinoco and Essequibo river basins.

Status: They are not evaluated by IUCN.