Pangasius undescribed species

Pangasius undescribed species
An unidentified troglomoprphic fish from somewhere in Malaysia. Original photograph by Wee Shu Yuan, used with permission. Image edited and considerably improved by Jerry Woodridge


This fish was bought in a pet shop somewhere in Malaysia. Two individuals were kept as pets until both became ill and then died. Neither were preserved. Enquiries with the pet shop made no progress in finding out where the fishes came from originally except that it was somewhere in Malaysia. The fish is clearly very troglomorphic, it is very depigmented (see below) and there is no sign of the eye sockets at all. We are attempting to find out if any more is known and will report if anything is found out. Thanks to Andy Gluesenkamp for this information.

Original photograph by Wee Shu Yuan, used with permission. Image edited and considerably improved by Jerry Woodridge. (Click the image to enlarge and see another image below)






This species is not described and there are no types.


Details unknown. The Malay Peninsula has 445 individual limestone hills (Liew et al. 2016), all of which could potentially have caves in them. The hills are in three principle clusters with a number of outliers.


Details unknown.


It is thought, from the overall body shape and appearance, (see Nelson, Grande and Wilson 2016:219) that this is a member of the Siluriformes and in the Family Pangasiidae, though this remains to be confirmed if other specimens are found (Andy Gluesenkamp and Dante Fenolio personal communication to Graham Proudlove).

Within the Family are four genera and this fish is probably in the genus Pangasius based on having 6 pelvic fins rays ( Rudhy Gustiano pers. comm.  March 2021). It is tentatively placed in that genus as an undescribed species. The genus has about 24 described species with only four of them (Pangasius nasutus, Pangasius polyuranodon, Helicophagus waandersii and Pseudolais micronemus) recorded from the Malay Peninsula (Baharuddin 2016, Baharuddin et al. 2014).


Conservation Status


Museum Holdings

None known.

Internet Resources

Fishbase Pangasiidae list

Limestone hills of the Malaysian peninsula

Paper on GIS of Malaysian peninsula limestone hills

Shape file for limestone hills of the Malaysian peninsula


Key References

Kottelat, M. Journal Article 1989 Zoogeography of the fishes from Indochinese Inland waters with an annotated check-list
Roberts, T.R. and Vidthayanon, C. Journal Article 1991 Systematic revision of the Asian Catfish Family Pangasiidae, with biological observations and descriptions of three new species
Vidthayanon, C. Thesis 1993 Taxonomic revision of the catfish family Pangasiidae
Pouyaud, L., Gustiano, R. and Legendre, M. Conference Paper 1998 Phylogenetic relationships among pangasiid catfish species (Siluriformes, Pangasiidae) and new insights on their zoogeography
Pouyaud, L., Teugels, G.G., Gustiano, R. and Legendre, M. Journal Article 2000 Contribution to the phylogeny of pangasiid catfishes based on allozymes and mitochondrial DNA
Pouyaud, L., Gustiano, R. and Teugels, G.G. Journal Article 2002 Systematic revision of Pangasius polyuranodon (Siluriformes, Pangasiidae) with description of two new species
Hogan, Z.S. and May, B.P. Journal Article 2002 Twenty-seven new microsatellites for the migratory Asian catfish family Pangasiidae
Gustiano, R. Thesis 2003 Taxonomy and phylogeny of Pangasiidae catfishes from Asia (Ostariophysi, Siluriformes)
Pouyaud, L., Gustiano, R. and Teugels, G.G. Journal Article 2004 Contribution to the phylogeny of the Pangasiidae based on mitochondrial 12S rDNA
Bin Hassan, M.Z. Thesis 2006 Morphology and general reproductive stages of Pangasius nasutus from Sg. Pahang in Maran District, Pahang, Malaysia
Gustiano, R. and Pouyaud, L. Journal Article 2007 Taxonomy and genetic relationships of Pangasiidae, Asian catfishes, based on morphological and molecular analyses
Gustiano, R. and Pouyaud, L. Journal Article 2008 Systematic revision of the genera of Pangasiidae (Siluriformes, Ostariophysi)
Chong, V.C., PLee, P.K.Y. and Lau, C.M. Journal Article 2010 Diversity, extinction risk and conservation of Malaysian fishes
Kottelat, M. Book 2013 The Fishes of the Inland Waters of Southeast Asia: A catalogue and core bibliography of the fishes known to occur in freshwaters, mangroves and estuaries
Baharuddin, H., Rizman-idid, M., Muniandy, S.and Zakaria-Ismail, M. Journal Article 2014 The occurrence of Pangasius polyuranodon Bleeker, 1852 (Teleostei: Pangasiidae) in Peninsular Malaysia with remarks on the comparative morphology with Pseudolais micronemus (Bleeker, 1847)
Baharuddin, H. Thesis 2016 Morphometric, phylogenetic analyses and DNA barcoding of Pangasiid catfishes (Teleostei:Pangasiidae) in Peninsular Malaysia
Liew, T.-S., Price, L. and Clements, G.R. Journal Article 2016 Using Google Earth to improve the management of threatened limestone karst ecosystems in Peninsular Malaysia
Another improved image. Note especially the spine and guts visible through the body wall demonstrating the extreme degree of depigmentation in this fish. Credits as above.
Another view