Systematics of Southeast and East Asian Bagridae
and related catfishes
projects | Further readings
The catfish fauna is relatively
poorly studied, and the potential for discovering
unusual new genera and species is very high.
The main family under study is the Bagridae,
the emphasis being on the commercially important
riverine catfish (Baung) of the genus Hemibagrus.
The common baung, Hemibagrus nemurus,
is an important food fish.
wyckii, the blue-eyed catfish
or Baung Jaksa of Southeast Asia.
The systematics of the genus
Hemibagrus (and related Mystus)
from Asia is analysed with using classical taxonomical
techniques. Examination of museum specimens
is ongoing and fresh collections are being assembled
to sort out their taxonomy. The results has
relevance for their conservation as well as
aid in the understanding of the phylogeny and
biogeography of these bagrid catfish. Being
conducted at the same time is a major project
(with Julian Dodson, Canada) on the molecular
systematics of large food fishes of Southeast
Asia, especially Hemibagrus. Large food
fish are collected from fish markets and fishermen
for molecular analysis, using a mitochondrial
DNA assay. Morphological data is correlated
with the molecular analysis to generate a multi-disciplinary
interpretation of the phylogeny of these food
fish. In addition to Hemibagrus, other
silurid taxa used in the present study include
Mystus, Leiocassis (Bagridae),
Kryptopterus (Siluridae), as well as
Pangasius and Helicophagus (Pangasiidae).
The alpha-taxonomy of the clown
catfishes of the genus Leiocassis (Bagridae)
is also being revised currently. Studies of
museum and fresh collections are providing a
clearer understanding of this complicated and
often misunderstood group. Many are important
in the aquarium trade.
Members of two related taxa, Pseudomystus
and Nanobagrus, are also examined.
Concurrent with these studies
are ongoing revisions of the genera Breitensteinia
(Akysidae), Acrochordonichthys (Akysidae),
Akysis (Akysidae), Glyptothorax (Sisoridae),
Laides (Schilbeidae) and Ceratoglanis
(Siluridae), Clarias nieuhoffi specis
group (Clariidae), and the Southeast Asian members
of the genus "Pelteobagrus"
(Bagridae). Recently completed studies include
revisions of the Parakysis (Akysidae)
and Encheloclarias (Clariidae).
The very rare bladefin catfish, Encheloclarias
kelioides from southern Malaysia.
The wrinkled-bellied torrent catfish, Glyptothorax
major, a common denizen