name = Long-whiskered catfish
fossil_range = Oligocene - Recent [cite journal|url=http://www.ufrgs.br/ni/vol3num4%5CNI_v3n4p607-623lowr.pdf|title=Revision of genus "Steindachneridion" (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae)|journal=Neotropical Ichthyology|first=Julio Cesar|last=Garavello|volume=3|issue=4|pages=607–623|year=2005|format=PDF|doi=10.1590/S1679-62252005000400018]

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Red-tailed catfish, "Phractocephalus hemioliopterus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Siluriformes
superfamilia = Pimelodoidea
familia = Pimelodidae
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Aguarunichthys"

Pimelodidae, commonly known as the long-whiskered catfishes, is a family of catfishes (order Siluriformes).


Pimelodidae has undergone much revision. Currently, the family contains about 30 genera and about 90 recognized and known but unnamed species.cite journal|url=http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2007f/zt01512p038.pdf|title=Taxonomy of the catfish genus "Pseudoplatystoma" Bleeker (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) with recognition of eight species|first=Uriel Angel|last=Buitrago-Suárez|coauthors=Burr, Brooks M.|journal=Zootaxa|volume=1512|pages=1–38|year=2007|format=PDF] The low-eye catfish (previously family Hypophthalmidae), and thus the genus "Hypophthalmus" which contains four species, was reclassified with the Pimelodids.

This family previously included fish that are now classified under Pseudopimelodidae (previously subfamily Pseudopimelodinae) and Heptapteridae (previously subfamily Rhamdiinae). This family also previously included "Conorhynchos conirostris", currently incertae sedis.FishBase family|family=Pimelodidae|year=2007|month=Mar] However, a molecular analysis has shown unequivocal support for monophyly of the individual families and the genus "Conorhynchos" into a clade called Pimelodoidea, including Pimelodidae + Pseudopimelodidae and Heptapteridae + "Conorhynchos".cite journal|journal=Mol Phylogenet Evol.|year=2006|volume=41|issue=3|pages=636–62|title=A phylogenetic analysis of the major groups of catfishes (Teleostei: Siluriformes) using rag1 and rag2 nuclear gene sequences|last=Sullivan|first=JP|coauthors=Lundberg JG; Hardman M|doi=10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.044]

Some genera have relatively recently been synonymized. "Merodontotus" and "Goslinia" are now both included under "Brachyplatystoma".cite journal|url=http://www.bioone.org/archive/0045-8511/2005/3/pdf/i0045-8511-2005-3-492.pdf|title="Brachyplatystoma capapretum": a New Species of Goliath Catfish from the Amazon Basin, with a Reclassification of Allied Catfishes (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae)|journal=Copeia|format=PDF|year=2005|pages=492–516|issue=3|last=Lundberg|first=John G.|coauthors=Akama, Alberto|doi=10.1643/CI-04-036R1|volume=2005] Also, "Paulicea" is now a synonym of "Zungaro".

There are six main groups within Pimelodidae; these are "Steindachneridion", the "Phractocephalus"-"Leiarius" group, the "Pimelodus"group, the "Calophysus" group, "Zungaro", and the "Sorubim" group. The "Pimelodus" group includes "Pimelodus", "Exallodontus", "Duopalatinus", "Cheirocerus", "Iheringichthys", "Bergiaria", "Bagropsis", "Parapimelodus", "Platysilurus", "Platystomatichthys", and "Propimelodus".cite journal|url=http://www.bioone.org/archive/0097-3157/152/1/pdf/i0097-3157-152-1-75.pdf|title="Propimelodus", new genus, and redescription of "Pimelodus eigenmanni" Van der Stigchel 1946, a long-recognized yet poorly-known South American catfish (Pimelodidae: Siluriformes)|last=Lundberg|first=John G.|coauthors=Parisi, Béatrice M.|journal=Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia|volume=152|pages=75–88|year=2002|format=PDF|doi=10.1635/0097-3157(2002)152 [0075:PNGARO] 2.0.CO;2] The "Calophysus" group includes the five genera "Aguarunichthys", "Pimelodina", "Calophysus", "Luciopimelodus", and "Pinirampus".cite journal|title=Revision of "Pimelodina" and Description of a New Genus and Species from the Peruvian Amazon (Pisces: Pimelodidae)|first=Donald J.|last=Stewart|journal=Copeia|year=1986|pages=653–672|number=3|doi=10.2307/1444947|volume=1986]

The relationships within each genus are still being studied. Most genera lack a hypothesis for monophyly.cite journal|title=Three new "Pimelodus" species (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) from the rio Tocantins drainage, Brazil|first=Frank R.V.|last=Ribeiro|coauthors=Lucena, Carlos A. S.; Lucinda, Paulo H. F.|journal=Neotropical Ichthyology|volume=6|issue=3|pages=455-464|year=2008]


All species of Pimelodidae are found in South America and the lower Isthmian region. Their range reaches from South America and Panama north to southernmost Mexico.cite book|title=Fishes of the World|last=Nelson|first=Joseph, S.|publisher=John Wiley & Sons, Inc.|year=2006|isbn=0471250317]


Many long-whiskered catfishes grow to be very large, including the Piraiba, "Brachyplatystoma filamentosum", reaching about 3 m in length. They have three pairs of barbels, with maxillary barbels that may reach the length of the fish's body. Like many other catfish, their bodies lack scales. The adipose fin is well developed.

Many species of Pimelodidae have juvenile forms that appear different from their adult forms in color pattern as well as body shape.cite journal|title="Pteroglanis manni" Eigenmann and Pearson, a Juvenile of "Sorubimichthys planiceps" (Agassiz), with a Review of the Nominal Species of "Sorubimichthys" (Pisces: Pimelodidae)|first=John G.|last=Lundberg|coauthors=Nass, Pedro; Mago-Leccia, Francisco|journal=Copeia|issue=2|pages=332–344|year=1989|doi=10.2307/1445429|volume=1989] "Brachyplatystoma" have specialized pelagic young with greatly elongated barbels and fin filaments, and strongly ornamented pectoral spines. Other large pimelodids, such as "Pseudoplatystoma", "Sorubim", and "Sorubimichthys", whose young inhabit vegetated, marginal waters, have distinctive cryptic coloration patterns and much enlarged caudal and pectoral fins.cite journal|url=http://www.mansfield.ohio-state.edu/~tberra/pdf-files/Diplomystes.pdf|title=First description of small juveniles of the primitive catfish "Diplomystes" (Siluriformes: Diplomystidae)|first=John G.|last=Lundberg|coauthors=Berra, Tim M.; Friel, John P.|journal=Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters|volume=15|issue=1|pages=71–82|month=March | year=2004|format=PDF]


They are generally bottom-living fish, though some are pelagic and probably filter-feeders. They do not guard their young.

Relationship to humans

Because of their large size in many species, Pimelodids are an important food fish in South America. Many species have been hybridized through the use of hormones in an effort to get even larger fish. This same size factor also makes Pimelodids very popular for sport fishing.

Pimelodids are a common addition to Amazonian-themed exhibits in zoos and public aquaria.

Despite the looming danger of size in many species, Pimelodids remain a popular home aquarium fish. Controversy exists over whether or not many of the larger Pimelodid species should be sold in the hobby because of their large adult size. Also, there is some disagreement over hybrids appearing in the hobby as well. Many species are hardy and easy to take care of. However, care should of course be taken on what other fish to house Pimelodids with, as they won't hesitate to eat other fish that are small enough.

ee also

* List of fish families


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