Language English Tropical Rainforest Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing features This catfish has a bluish body with dark spots above and white below. The tops of the dorsal and anal fins and tail are bright red. There are spines on the pectoral fins. Bony plates cover its body. Reproduction These fish are oviparous. Diet They are omnivorous, and eat palm seeds, crabs, dead and live fish, etc. Predators Small redtail catfish are eaten by birds and other fish. Humans also damage the species by discharging toxic waste into waterways (mining and forestry industries) and by catching them for food and for sale to aquarists. Habitat They live in fresh water, in the Amazon River and many of its tributaries. Ecology, behaviour These catfish have an unusual respiratory system, like other related species, that allows them to live in water with little oxygen. Amazon fishermen often catch these fish, but do not eat them. Their superstitions prevent them from eating fish whose flesh is dark rather than white. Like most catfish, redtail catfish are nocturnal and solitary in the wild, but there are some species that are active during the day and live in schools. The vision of some species has degenerated to the point that they are almost blind, because of their nocturnal habits and especially turbid habitat. This means that their barbels are very important sensory organs, helping these fish to detect the presence of their prey and other food. French namePoisson-chat à queue rouge Scientific namePhractocephalus hemioliopterusPhylumChordataClassOsteichthyes (bony fish)OrderSiluriformesFamilyPimelodidaeSizeLength: 90 to 130 cmWeightMaximum: 80 kgStatusCommon species, commercially exploited for sale to aquarists.