Barb, Hampala (Hampala Macrolepedota)
The Hampala Barb is a predatory member of the Cyprinidae (carps) family which is widely distributed in various parts of South East Asia. The Hampala Barb is found in the Mekong and Chaophraya basins in Thailand in addition to the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. The Hampala Barb is easily identified with its streamlined body covered with silver to gold scales and a distinctive black bar/ stripe running vertically from the top of the fish near the dorsal fin to the fish’s underside near its anal fin.
The Hampala Barb is a highly aggressive and carnivorous carp species which subsists on a diet of small fish and aquatic insects. Juvenile Hampala Barb feed on zoo plankton and other aquatic vegetation in the early stages of infancy.
This carnivorous carp species is found in various aquatic habitats in Thailand such as clear rivers, streams with running freshwater and the many various natural freshwater reservoirs and dams throughout Thailand where it actively hunts unsuspecting prey fish.
The Hampala Barb is also known as the Jungle Perch and is a highly advanced predator preying on amphibians, smaller fish and insects and is a much coveted prize for international lure fishing enthusiasts.
Fishing in Thailand for Jungle Perch or Hampala Barb is possible at various natural reservoirs and dams such as Srinakarin Dam, Khao Laem Dam in Kanchanaburi and Cheow Lan Dam in Southern Thailand where it actively hunts prey aggressively attacking artificial lures cast into its path.