Catfish, Niger Ripsaw (Pseudoras Niger)
he Niger ‘Ripsaw’ Catfish or Plated Catfish is found in found in various parts of the Amazon basin in South America in the Amazon River and its various tributaries and has been stocked into Thailand’s fishing lakes and ponds.
The Niger Catfish is the largest member of the Dorididae family of Catfish. The armour plated prehistoric looking Niger Ripsaw Catfish inhabits a wide variety of waters including lakes and rivers of the flood plain and can be found in waters at an altitude of upto 300m.
The Niger Ripsaw Catfish has ancestry dating back to the Paleozoic period and is easily distinguishable with its distinctive armour plated scaling along the lateral line and has a pair of large sensory barbules located on each side of its mouth which it uses to keenly search out prey items in the muddy substrate of rivers in the flood plain.
An extremely impressive camouflaged colouration of a combination of black, green and brown shades adorn the Niger Catfish’s flanks with the region directly in front of the fish’s dorsal fin being covered by a bony protective plate.
The ancient looking Niger Catfish’s fins and tail are extremely bony and black in colouration with the catfish having in some specimens an almost barnacled appearance.
This Amazonian catfish species subsists on a diet of plant and vegetable matter in addition to mollusks and invertebrates found in the muddy substrate which it inhabits.
Although not a home grown native monster fish species in Thailand the Niger Catfish or Ripsaw Catfish has recently been introduced to Thailand and has become established in several fishing lakes and ponds.
The Niger ‘Ripsaw’ Catfish is an extremely wily and shy catfish which has not be heavily introduced into Thailand at the time of writing. Anglers fishing for Niger Catfish in Thailand can expect to catch this monster fish species on a variety of baits such as particle baits, nuts, beans, pulses in addition to snails and other natural baits.
The world record for the Niger ‘Ripsaw’ Catfish at the time of writing currently stands at 36lb 1oz and was caught at Topcats fishing resort in Koh Samui, Southern Thailand