Red Tailed Catfish

Picture of Red Tailed Catfish

Description of the Red Tailed Catfish

The Red Tailed Catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) is also known as a Cajaro in Venezuela. It is a very popular fresh water aquarium fish that originates from South America. They can grow to over 1m in length,  something to consider when purchasing a juvenile! It is a long-whiskered (pimelodid) species and can be recognised by its red or orange tipped caudal fin. The red tailed catfish is not recommended for the home aquarium due to its size, it is best suited to public aquariums with large tanks.

Picture of a Red Tailed Catfish

Red Tailed Catfish

Facts - Information - Picture - Video

Popular Name: Red Tailed Catfish
Species: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Profile of the Red Tailed Catfish
This Profile contains interesting facts and information about the Red Tailed Catfish species.

  • Size: Up to 130cm

  • Fish Tank conditions: PH 5.5 to 6.8. Temp 20 to 26 Degrees

  • Diet / Feeding: Fish, Crustaceans, Cockles, Mussels

  • Temperament: Territorial, only a single species should be kept

  • Habitat: Freshwater River Basins

  • Behaviour: Peaceful as long as kept with similar sized fish

  • Range: Amazon and Orinoco river basins including Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, Guyana, Bolivia, Ecuador

Scientific Classification of the Red Tailed Catfish
Definition: Scientific classification, or biological classification, is how biologists group and categorize species of organisms with shared physical characteristics. Scientific classification belongs to the science of taxonomy.

  • Species: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

  • Popular Name: Red Tail Catfish - Cajaro

  • Kingdom: Animalia

  • Phylum: Chordata

  • Class: Actinopterygii

  • Order: Siluroformes

  • Family: Pimelodidae

Interesting Facts and Information - How do you identify the sex of a Red Tailed Catfish?
The males and females of many fish species have different colors or different shaped bodies. But there are also other fish species where there is no visible difference. Its sometimes tricky being an ichthyologist!


Interesting Facts and Information - Why are Red Tailed Catfish slimy?
Red Tailed Catfish secrete a type of mucus, or slime, from their skin. This slime provides protection against parasites and infections and helps the Red Tailed Catfish to move through the water faster. Some fish species also release toxins in their slime which ward off enemy attacks. Other fish species use their slime to feed their young.

Interesting Facts and Information -
Why do Red Tailed Catfish have gills?
Gills enable the Red Tailed Catfish to breathe. Gills consist of thin sheets of tissue containing blood vessels. As water passes over the gills oxygen is absorbed into the blood stream Carbon dioxide passes out into the water. The gills are protected by a large bony plate called an operculum. Some fish species however have lungs and breathe air.

Interesting Facts and Information -
Why do the Red Tailed Catfish have fins?
A fin is an external appendage or "limb" of a fish. Fins are used for directing, stabilizing, or propelling the different fish species in water. Numbers of fins vary between fish species, but there are usually seven. Each of the fins on a fish are designed to perform a specific function:

  • Dorsal fins - The dorsal fin is located on the backs of fishes. The Red Tailed Catfish has Dorsal fins to lend stability in swimming.

  • Ventral fins. The ventral fin is located on the pelvic area of fishes. The Red Tailed Catfish has Ventral fins to lend stability in swimming.

  • Caudal fins. The Caudal fin is located on the tail area of fishes. The Red Tailed Catfish has Caudal fins to propel through the water.

  • Pectoral fins. The Pectoral fin is located on the breast area of fishes. The Red Tailed Catfish has Pectoral fins to for locomotion and side to side movement

Interesting Facts and Information about Red Tailed Catfish

Red Tailed Catfish

  • Interesting Information about Red Tailed Catfish

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why are Red Tailed Catfish slimy?

  • Why do the Red Tailed Catfish have gills?

  • Facts about Fish Species - Why do the Red Tailed Catfish have fins?

  • Species: Phractocephalus hemioliopterus

Fish Species

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