Species of the month
Giant Devil Catfish (Goonch Catfish)
Some facts about this fish:
Length: Up to 200 cm.
Weight: Up to 75 kg.
Diet: Fish and shrimp.
Habitat: Swift, clear rivers with a substrate of rocks and sand.
Range: Southern and southeastern Asia: India, Bangladesh, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Myanmar.
Conservation status: Near threatened.
First described: By William Henry Sykes, an Indian Army officer, politician and ornithologist, in 1839, who originally named it Bagrus yarrelli.
Bagarius yarrelli is certainly no sardine: it is one of the largest freshwater fish around. Its shape resembles that of a shark, with a huge mouth full of teeth and a huge head. It migrates in schools, following its prey, and occurs mainly on the bottom of large rivers, sometimes among boulders but often in the white water of rapids. In April 1998, the media reported about goonch attacks on humans in three villages on the banks of the Kali River in India and Nepal, but these reports were never proven.
(Archived from Template:Species of the week)