Bagarius yarrelli, known as the giant devil catfish or goonch, is a very large species of catfish in the genus Bagarius found in rivers in South Asia. It is possibly also found in Southeast Asia, but this may involve a separate species.
Distribution and habitat
It is found in large rivers, including rivers with fast current, but never in small streams. It is found in South Asia. There are also populations in Southeast Asia (as far south as Sumatra and Borneo), but this may involve a separate species.
This fish reaches up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in length, and weighs over 200 pounds. It may be largest species in the genus. The related B. bagarius, another species where there is considerable taxonomic confusion, has – perhaps in error – been reported as reaching the same size as B. yarrelli, while others consider B. bagarius to be a dwarf species that only reaches about 20 cm (7.9 in).
In popular culture
The Kali River goonch attacks were a series of fatal attacks on humans claimed to be perpetrated by man-eating goonch catfish in three villages on the banks of the Kali River in Nepal and India, between 1998 and 2007. These attacks were made famous by Jeremy Wade of River Monsters.
- Ng, H.H. (2010). "Bagarius bagarius". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T166529A6229491. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T166529A6229491.en. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Bagarius yarrelli" in FishBase. January 2012 version.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Bagarius bagarius" in FishBase. January 2012 version.
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