Featherback (Notopterus chitala)

Interesting :

Featherback is a freshwater fish having a shape like ???????. The belly is flat and the side of body is very flat. The beginning part of its back is steep and it continues to slope down to its tail, with the resulting appearance of a knife. The ground of body is silver blue in color; the upper part is rather dark in color than the lower part, with very small scales. Its head is small and J-shape sharp. It has blunt mouth, small eyes and sharp teeth on both sides of jaws. Dorsal fin is small and looks like a feather at the end. Pelvic fin runs the length of the body connecting to caudal fin. At above anal fin, there are a row of 5 -10 big black dots circled with white ring. The young of featherback shall has 10 – 15 black vertical stripes along its body. As it matures, the black vertical strips shall fade away and become big black dots.

Habitat :

It is found in Thailand, Burma, India and Malaysia. In Thailand, it is usually seen in the rivers, canals and swamps. It is called “Pla-Pan” in the northern part and “Pla-Tong-Krai” in the north-eastern part.

Food :

It eats aquatic insects, young shrimp and small pelagic fishes such as needle fish, ?????? and Jullien's Mud Carp.

Behavior :

It likes to stay as a small group and take a rest by hiding under stumps or rock folds. It does not like bright light so it likes to look for food at night time. It likes to breach over water and make sound, then roll over itself showing its silver blue side of body.

Size and weight :

It`s length is about 48 – 85 centimetres.