Armoured Sailfin Catfish

1 min read
Armoured Sailfin Catfish Blog Image


CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) scientists have found out that the armoured sailfin catfish has spread to 60% in the water bodies of Eastern Ghats, damaging the fishing nets and the eco-system.

About Armoured Sailfin Catfish: 

  • It is commonly referred to as the Rakashior devil fish.
  • Scientifically known as Pterygoplichthys and is an invasive species.
  • It possesses an uncanny ability to subsist on a diverse diet and can endure oxygen-deprived conditions. It can even navigate on land using its powerful fins.
  • It was once introduced for its unique appearance and its ability to clean algal growth in tanks and aquaria.
  • Out of the 14 species listed as invasive by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India, six were introduced solely for the ornamental fish trade.
  • Among those six listed species, four belong to Pterygoplichthys, remarking it to be one of the most invasive genera of fish.
  • It has garnered notoriety due to its lack of commercial value, formidable sharp spines, and robust body, which pose a threat to fishing nets and have even caused injuries to fishermen in some instances. 
  • Impact on biodiversity: It is known to voraciously consume native fish species, jeopardizing the delicate aquatic ecosystem.
  • Its population has grown exponentially and this was realised through a unique ‘eDNA-based quantitative PCR assay’ developed by the institute scientists to map the presence and spread of such invasive species,

What is eDNA?

  • Environmental DNA (edna) is DNA shed by all organisms into their surroundings through natural processes during their lifetime or after death.

Source: It originates from cellular material shed by organisms (via the skin, excrement, etc.) into aquatic or terrestrial environments that can be sampled and monitored using new molecular methods.

Q1: What is an invasive species?

Invasive species is a non-native organism (plant, animal, fungus, or microbe) that is introduced to a new environment, ecosystem, or habitat, where it spreads rapidly and causes harm to the local environment, economy, or human health.

Source: CCMB scientists find armoured sailfin catfish has spread to 60% of water bodies of Eastern Ghats