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a-z of creatures - Creature View

Catfish, Ripsaw
Oxydoras niger

DID YOU KNOW: Ripsaw catfish get there name from the sharp bony scutes that run along their sides. Due to their slow movement, these catfish have developed this armour as a defence mechanism and deterrent against predators. The ripsaw catfish also have specialised mouths designed for suction feeding and have developed fleshy barbels (whiskers) which allow them to taste their surroundings to find their food.  They will consume anything edible they find as they sift through the substrate, although a large proportion of the diet is composed of benthic crustaceans and the larval forms of various insects. 

Scientific Name: Oxydoras niger

Continent: South America

Country: Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. 

Habitats: Tropical freshwater. Muddy areas of slower moving water or lakes.

Size: Up to 100cm

Diet: Omnivorous

Food: Detritus, insect larvae and crustaceans

Conservation status: Not Evaluated 

Ripsaw Catfish have become a problem in the UK due to their popularity in the home aquarium fish trade. Due to the shear shape and size that these fish can grow to, fish owners are left with a 'BIG' problem as a result of inadequate space or equipment.  

The 'Big Fish' campaign is an initiative set up by NAW (National Aquarium Workshop) and the BIAZA Aquarium Working Group, following research that indicated that over a period of just 4 months, 11 UK aquaria were asked to house 144 fish that had outgrown their owners' tanks.

The Big Fish Campaign aims to:

  • Encourage the public to research properly the fish species that they wish to own as pets
  • Overturn the notion that fish will never outgrow the size of their tanks
  • Reduce the sale of these species in pet stores to protect their welfare
  • Alleviate the problem of public aquaria being pressurised into accepting these big fish

Other creatures found in the Amazon display include:

Results 1-8 of 8 | Page 1

Creature Name Scientific Name
Pacu Piaractus brachypomus View more...
Piranha, Red-Bellied Serrasalmus nattereri View more...
Terrapins, Red Eared Trachemys scripta elegans View more...
Catfish, Tiger Shovel-Nose Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum View more...
Catfish, Giraffe Auchenoglanis occidentalis View more...
Catfish, Redtail Phractocephalus hemioliopterus View more...
Otters, Oriental small clawed Aonyx cinerea View more...
Tortoise, Hingeback Kinixys homeana View more...

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