Length Category: Large (> 100 cm)
Trophic Level: Predator-Fish
Migratory Pattern: Medium Distance (100-1000 km)
Spawning Period: All periods
Export Market: International (outside South America)
Market Status: First class
Piraíba potential yield was estimated to be approximatley 5,500 tons. The Brazilian-Colombian-Peruvian border regions (71%) accounts for most of the catch, followed by the Central Amazon(8%), Peruvian Amazon (6%), Estuary (6%) and Lower Amazon (5%).
Natural History Notes:
The piraíba was long considered one species, but recently a second species was identified. It is unclear whether both species are important in commercial fisheries. Piraíba commonly reach at least 1.8 meters in length and 100 kg, though commercial catches consist of fish mostly 20-50 kg. Unlike most other large catfishes the piraíba does not appear to be migratory and sexually mature individuals have been found over a wide area of the Amazon Basin. However, piraíba have often been observed following schools of piramutaba and other species in the river channel when the latter are migrating upriver. The piraíba feeds almost exclusively on fish.