Tiger Catfish (Pseudoplatystoma)

A beautiful nocturnal feeder introduced to Thailand from the Amazon and now bred and cross bred by the Thai's to produce striking body patterns ranging from thick defined tiger stripes to leopard style spots.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Siluroformes
  • Family: Sorubiminae
  • Genus: Pseudoplatystoma
  • The Genus Pseudoplatystoma has 8 species, 5 of which have only been identified since 2007. The 3 original species which formerly included those recent 5 additions are P.corruscans, P.fasciatum, P.tigrinum the Spotted, Barred and Tiger sorubim respectively. Each of these can be identified in their own ways. Pseudoplatystoma species have been intensively cross bred with each other  to create many hybrid species aswell as with the Redtail catfish (Phractocephalus hemioliopterus) to try to produce a viable hybrid food fish in parts of South America. This article generally describes the whole genus Pseudoplatystoma which contains the 8 subspecies and we refer to them as Tiger or Sorubim catfishes.
Common names: Tiger catfish, Tiger Shovelnose catfish, Spotted Sorubim, Barred Sorubim, Leopard catfish, Sorubim hybrid Thai name: Plah Tiger (ปลากดเสือ) Thailand status: Introduced Max size: 40kg (88lb) Diet: Crustaceans , fish - Piscavore Habitat: Freshwater

Tiger catfish can easily grow to 1.3m (4.5ft) in length and 40kg (88lb).They are all found naturally in South American rivers such as the Amazon or the Orinoco. All are boldly striped or dark spotted These markings and colourings will vary depending on the waters and aquatic vegetation around the fishes territory. They have been successfully introduced into many fishing lakes in Thailand and are considered by most a very beautiful and prized catch. When hooked this fish will stick to the bottom for as long as possible and have you wondering if you caught up with a mini jet powered submarine.

Barred sorubim  (Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum)

Tiger catfish mainly live in river channels and areas of flooded forest in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, which are their natural habitat. They will search the bottom of the lake or river looking for food items. They are generally active after dark, and prefer spending their days well hidden under stones or logs.

ike other catfish they have sensitive whiskers known as barbels that protrude from around the mouth these help the catfish locate their prey after dark, or in very cloudy turbid waters.  The eyes of the Tiger catfish are relatively small, which indicates that they rely less on sight and more on smell and vibrations picked up by their whiskers.

Here in Thailand the Tiger catfish have become a very popular sport fish and are stocked in most fishing parks. They will take a whole range of baits and are strong fighters hugging the bottom and staying deep until the last. Once landed this is a very beautiful fish species much admired and makes a great photo.