- This article is about Pangasius sanitwongsei; for Pangasianodon gigas which has a similar common name, see Mekong giant catfish
The giant pangasius or Chao Phraya giant catfish (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is a species of freshwater fish in the shark catfish family (family Pangasiidae) of order Siluriformes, found in the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins. These fish are benthopelagic swimmers.
The giant pangasius is pigmented with dusky melanophores
. It has a wide, flat, whiskerless head. It has a silver, curved underside and a dark brown back. Its dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins
are dark gray and the first soft ray is extended into a filament. Full-grown adults can reach ten feet in length (300 cm) and weigh up to 646 pounds (293 kg).
Juveniles and adults feed on crustaceans
. Larger individuals have been known to feed on the carcasses of fowl and dogs (which are commonly used as bait). The Giant pangasius is a migratory species. These fish typically spawn just prior to the monsoon
Relationship to humans
of this species used to be accompanied by religious ceremonies and rites
. It is often mentioned in textbooks, news media, and popular press. This fish is a popular food fish and marketed fresh.
It is also very good deep fried.
These fish sometimes appear in the aquarium fish hobby. There is even a "balloon" form of this fish where the fish has an unusually short and stocky body.