Featherback, Grey (Notopterus notopterus)
The Grey Featherback in Thailand is a small member of the Notopteridae – Featherbacks or knifefishes family of fishes is distributed throughout Asia in Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Krishna, Cauvery, and other river basins in southern India. Irrawaddy, and Salween, Mekong, Chao Phraya, Mekong and virtually all coastal river basins of peninsular Thailand and Malaysia; Sumatra and Java.
The Grey Featherback is distinguishable by its plain brown to Silver adult coloration and the convex or only slightly concave dorsal head profile with some specimens displaying a silvery-white colouration with numerous fine grey spots on body and head.
The Grey Featherback has a sleek ventrally compressed body shape with a thin feather-like dorsal fin on its back which gives the fish its peculiar name.
The Grey Featherback is found in clear streams and enters brackish waters and inhabits standing and sluggish waters of lakes, floodplains, canals and ponds where it seasonally undertakes localized lateral migrations from the Mekong River to floodplains during the flood season and back to the mainstream or other permanent water bodies during the dry season.
The Grey Featherback feeds on a wide variety of insects, fish, crustaceans and some young roots of aquatic plants and is active during twilight and night and colonizes and breeds seasonally during rainy days and migrates back to permanent waters in dry season.
This carnivorous predatory Featherback species is present in various fishing ponds and lakes throughout Thailand and is a highly prized food fish in Thai restaurants.
The Grey Featherback can be caught whilst fishing in Thailand on light balanced equipment when free lining or float fished with worms, prawns and small ornamental live baits near underwater structure or aquatic vegetation.