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Sailfin Armoured Catfish

Sailfin Armoured Catfish:

Scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) have discovered that the invasive armoured sailfin catfish has proliferated to 60% of the water bodies in the Eastern Ghats, causing harm to fishing nets and disrupting the ecosystem.

  • The sailfin armoured catfish, a collection of several morphologically similar species belonging to the genus Pterygoplichthys of the Loricariidae from South America, has been widely introduced to tropical and subtropical freshwater environments worldwide and has caused serious ecological impacts.
  • It is one of the most serious invasive species.
  • In India, the fish species was originally introduced for its distinct appearance and its capacity to remove algal growth in tanks and aquariums, but its population has since increased dramatically.
  • Sailfin catfish have worm-like dark markings on the head over a dark-golden background, stout pectoral fins with rough surfaces, and a disc-like, protrusible mouth used like a suction cup to attach and feed on algae.
  • Female fish are generally smaller, while those larger than 18 inches are likely to be male.
  • Sailfin catfish live in various slow-moving water bodies and are most commonly found near the shore and in shallow waters.
  • They are known to create spawning burrows along shorelines, sometimes undermining canal banks and lake shorelines.