A Phractocephalus hemioliopteru aka pirara aka Red tailed catfish is a long whiskered catfish (pimelodid). that is native to the amazon region.
It's name comes from the indigenous words pira and arara which means red.
They are the only type of catfish from their specific genetic pool that dates back 13.5 million years.
They are so enormous that they swallow their food whole and have been rumoured to swallow everything from fish, monkeys to even human beings.
These large, stocky, behemoths of a catfish are a true joy and they are fish that you must encounter and experience for yourself.
How Big can a Red Tail Catfish get?
Although not the biggest of the catfish species in the amazon, such as the jau and the pirara,
these fish can grow quite large in size. The Pirarara can frow upwards of 200lbs and 4 feet long.
the largest Pirarara ever recorded was caught by a brasilian man named Gilberto Fernandes at 123lbs.
Fishing the amazon you have many opportunties to catch a fish this big, although it can be difficult to measure a monster that size.
Unfortunately, baby red tail catfish are often kept as aquarium fish. These fish have a growth rate of an inch per week and can easily reach 2 feet within a years time. This obviously results in a problem once owners realize they will need a bigger tank/house...
At tarzan Fishing adventures we have a catch and release policy and do not condone fish being taken from the natural habitat.
What do Red Tail Catfish Eat? And when are they most active?
Red tail catfish are territorial that feed on other fish, crustaceans and fallen fruit.
to locate their food they have a well developed sense of site and use their whiskers which function as a sense of smell.
Red Tail catfish lay motionless for most of the day and are most active at night. This is when they feed and is the most opportune moment to catch a giant red tail catfish.
Where can you find the most Red tail catfish? And are they good to eat?
The amazonas has the highest concentration of Red Tail Catfish in the world.
These fish are especially popular in the rio negro, rio Uataumã and Rio Jatapu. two of which are rivers that you will fish with Tarzan Fishing Adventures on your all inclusive Amazon fishing vacation.
The Indigenous and locals of the area do not consume this fish. It has a black coloured flesh that is considered a bad omen to consume.
Sport fisherman from around the world love to catch these fish and we that hope you will too once you come and spend some time fishing on the amazon river.