The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum
(tiger catfish)

Copyright Info
Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum (Linnaeus, 1766)

Common name: tiger catfish

Synonyms and Other Names: barred sorubim, barred shovelnose, bagre rayado, pintadillo

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: A revision of the genus Pseudoplatystoma and key to eight recognized species given in Buitrago-Suárez and Burr (2007).

Size: to 90 cm TL; max weight 70 kg.

Native Range: South America: Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana, including the Essequibo and Suriname rivers (Buitrago-Suárez and Burr 2007).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†

Table last updated 7/24/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

* HUCs are not listed for states where the observation(s) cannot be approximated to a HUC (e.g. state centroids or Canadian provinces).

Ecology: Lives in rivers and streams, as well as flooded areas of forest during rainy seasons. This species is a nocturnal predator, feeding on fishes (loricariid catfishes, cichlids, and characoids) and crabs (Burgess 1989).

Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.

Status: Failed.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

Remarks: Species of Pseudoplatystoma are harvested in both commercial and ornamental fisheries in South America. However, recent taxonomic revision of the genus by Buitrago-Suárez and Burr (2007) makes assessment of impact on the eight recognized species of Pseudoplatystoma difficult. Juvenile Pseudoplatystoma are widely sold as aquarium fishes, but at a size where positive identification is not possible. It is likely that multiple species are sold as P. tigrinum or P. fasciatum (Buitrago-Suárez and Burr 2007).

Photograph of the specimen reported from Illinois does not allow for accurate species identification, and could represent a different species of Pseudoplatystoma.

References: (click for full references)

Buitrago-Suárez,  U.A., and B.M. Burr. 2007. Taxonomy of the catfish genus Pseudoplatystoma Bleeker (Siluriformes: Pimelodidae) with recognition of eight species. Zootaxa 1512:1-38.

Burgess, W.E. 1989. an atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey fothe Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, NJ.

Guerin, M. 2009. Tiger Shovelnose Catfish Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum [online]. Available at http://www.thejump.net/id/tiger-shovelnose-catfish.htm.

Le Bail, P.-Y., P. Keith, and P. Planquette. 2000. Atlas des poissons d'eau douce de Guyane (tome 2, fascicule II). Publications scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, France.

FishBase Summary

Author: Neilson, M.E.

Revision Date: 3/31/2020

Peer Review Date: 6/7/2012

Citation Information:
Neilson, M.E., 2024, Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum (Linnaeus, 1766): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2807, Revision Date: 3/31/2020, Peer Review Date: 6/7/2012, Access Date: 7/24/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/24/2024].

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For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.