Pseudolais pleurotaenia was first described by Sauvage in 1878. They are part of the family Pangasiidae or Shark Catfishes.
The genus name Pseudolais can be broken down into two parts. ‘Pseudo’ means ‘false’ or ‘false’. ‘Lais’ is a reference to the then genus Lais in the Schilbeid family, this genus is now called Laides. The name then means something like Lais, but it isn’t.
The species name pleurotaenia also consists of two parts. ‘Pleuro’ means ‘side’ and ‘taenia’ means ‘band’. This is a reference to the narrow black stripe on the flanks.
Over time, this species has been described under other names, which have since become synonyms: Pangasius cultratus, Pangasius fowleri, Pteropangasius cultratus, Pangasius pleurotaenius.
Pseudolais pleurotaenia is an elongated species. They can reach a total length of about 40 centimetres. As with all Pangasiidae, the dorsal fin is set far forward and is almost in the shape of a triangle.
The colour of Pseudolais pleurotaenia is silver/light brown. A dark stripe can be seen high on the flank. The eye is relatively large.
The difference between males and females is hard to see. Only when they are adults do the women get bit plumper.
This species is often caught in Asia as a food fish.
The natural habitat of Pseudolais pleurotaenia consists of large and medium-sized rivers in Asia. They occur in the Mekong, Chao Praya, Mae Klong, Tapi and their tributaries, among others.
They inhabit both the rapids and the deeper, slower-flowing parts of the river.
In the wild, Pseudolais pleurotaenia feeds on insects and insect larvae. They also ingest small amounts of plant material.
In the aquarium, it is not a picky eater and will take whatever food you give them.
With a maximum total length of 40 centimetres, it is clear that this species needs a large aquarium. They also need a lot of swimming space.
They are some nervous fish. Therefore, set up the aquarium with some plants or hiding places so that they can hide.
The water temperature is best kept between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius. The pH should be fairly neutral with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.
Breeding Pseudolais pleurotaenia
Nothing is known about the cultivation of Pseudolais pleurotaenia.
Given the size of this species, they are really only suitable for very large aquariums. So don’t be tempted to buy them as small fish. It soon turns out that they no longer fit in your aquarium.
John de Lange
Nonn Panitvong – Siamensis.org