Featherback, Indochina Blancs Striped (Chitala blanci)
The Indochina Striped Featherback or Blanc’s Striped Featherback is carnivorous member of the Notopteridae – Featherbacks or knifefishes family of fishes in the order of Osteoglossiformes (bony tongues).
The Indochina or Blanc’s Featherback is distributed in the mainstream of the Mekong in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and the lower course of some adjoining tributaries.
The Indochina / Blanc’s Striped Featherback is distinguishable by the presence of numerous small black spots (in the anterior half of the body), merging posteriorly into irregular oblique bands extending on the anal and caudal fins and differs from all other Featherback species in having a large round black spot at base of pectoral fin.
Some specimens display a translucent rainbow colouration towards the anal surface of the fish.
The ventrally compressed body shape of the Indochina or Blancs Striped Featherback allows the fish to swim into tight gaps in structure where it waits in ambush for unsuspecting prey.
The Indochina Featherback favours aquatic environments with fast flowing waters, deep pools or rapids and prefers habitats associated with rocky or gravelly substrate.
The Indochina Featherback is a freshwater nocturnal predatory hunter which is active during twilight and night and feeds on a variety of fishes, crustaceans and insects.
The Blanc’s Striped/Indochina Featherback has been bred for several years in Thailand and is present in various natural reservoirs and dams in addition to several fishing lakes and ponds throughout Thailand.
Blanc’s Featherback or the Indochina Featherback is caught regularily whilst predator fishing in Thailand on a variety of baits which include worms, grubs and small ornamental live baits