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Helicophagus wandersii.jpg
Helicophagus wandersii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Siluriformes
Family: Pangasiidae
Genus: Helicophagus
Bleeker, 1858
Type species
Helicophagus typus
Bleeker, 1858

Helicophagus is a genus of shark catfishes native to Southeast Asia.


There are currently three recognized species in this genus: [1]

H. leptorhynchus is known from the Chao Phraya and Mekong River drainages in Indochina.[2] H. typus inhabits rivers of Sumatra and southeast Borneo.[3] H. waandersii is known from medium- to large-sized rivers of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia.[2]

H. leptorhynchus grows to about 47.2 centimetres (18.6 in) SL.[4] H. typus reaches a length of about 37.7 cm (14.8 in) TL.[3] H. waandersii has a maximum recorded length of about 70.0 cm (27.6 in) TL.[5]

The stomachs of the specimens of H. waandersii are more or less filled with mollusks, usually bivalves.[5] H. waandersii enters flooded forests.[5] H. waandersii migrates upstream when water levels begin to rise at the beginning of the flood season and moves downstream as water clears at the end of the flood season.[5]

Unlike H. waandersii, H. leptorhynchus stays in permanent river channels and does not move into flooded forests. However, it also migrates upstream and downstream with changes in the water level.[2] H. leptorhynchus feeds primarily on bivalves.[2]


  1. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2012). Species of Helicophagus in FishBase. February 2012 version.
  2. ^ a b c d Ng, Heok Hee; Kottelat, Maurice (2000). "Helicophagus leptorhynchus, a New Species of Molluscivorous Catfish from Indochina (Teleostei: Pangasiidae)" (PDF). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. 48 (1): 55–58. 
  3. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Helicphagus typus" in FishBase. July 2007 version.
  4. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Helicophagus leptorhynchus" in FishBase. July 2007 version.
  5. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2007). "Helicophagus waandersii" in FishBase. July 2007 version.
  • Sitthi Kulabtong, Sawika Kunlapapuk and Piyathap Avakul. 2012. Some Fishery Biology of Molluscivorous Catfish,Helicophagus leptorhynchus in Thailand. Journal of Life Sciences 6(8):913-916.