Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Datnioididae

Scientific Name: Datnioides pulcher
Species Authority: (Kottelat, 1998)
Common Name(s):
English Siamese Tiger Perch
Coius pulcher Kottelat, 1998

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2acd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-02-21
Assessor(s): Vidthayanon, C.
Reviewer(s): Juffe Bignoli, D., Kottelat, M., Parenti, L. & Gibson, C.
This species used to be widespread in the Indo-China area, from the Mae Klong and Chao Phraya basins to the middle and lower Mekong. It  was extirpated from Thailand in the 1990s and is now very rare in Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR. The global population of this fish is suspected to have declined by more than 90% over the past 20 years after high levels of exploitation for the international aquarium trade. Habitat destruction and degradation from dams and infrastructure in tributaries are also significant threats. This species is assessed as Critically Endangered because of an inferred population decline of  >90% within three generations based on continuing declines in area of occupancy (AOO), extent of occurrence (EOO), and habitat quality, and levels of exploitation.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species used to be widespread in Indochina, from the Maekhlong and Chao Phraya basins to the middle and lower Mekong. It is now extirpated from Thailand. It is rarely reported from Se Bangfai, Champasak, Lao PDR.
Countries occurrence:
Cambodia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Viet Nam
Regionally extinct:
Lower elevation limit (metres): 10
Upper elevation limit (metres): 180
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Siamese Tiger Perch was extirpated from Thailand in the 1990s. It is very rare in Cambodia, Viet Nam and Lao PDR. Export records for the international aquarium trade from Cambodia and Viet Nam have fluctuated over the past 20 years and are now very much reduced (C. Vidthayanon pers. comm. 2010). The global population of this fish is suspected to have declined by >90% over the past 20 years.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: IThe species ihabits mainstreams and tributaries, including larger lakes connected to rivers. It prefers habitats with submerged woods and rocky crevices. Its generation length is estimated at 10 years (C. Vidthayanon pers. comm. 2011).
Systems: Freshwater
Generation Length (years): 10

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Once common, this species was a popular food fish in Thailand and Cambodia. Recently, it has become a popular and expensive fish in the international aquarium trade. It was heavily fished in Thailand (Bueng Borapet), and Cambodia (the Grand Lake), followed by southern Viet Nam (Tay Ninh). It has now become rare throughout its range. Viet Nam still, but seldom, exports mostly juvenile fish.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overfishing for the international aquarium trade is a major threat to this species. It is now rarely seen but it is fished for this purpose when found. Other major threats are habitat alteration from large dams; infrastructures in tributaries (small dams, weirs, locks) block lateral movements between main river and tributaries.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Artificial breeding has been attempted in Thailand since the 1990s, but without success. The species is now protected in Thailand making it illegal to catch or posses it. However, the name of the species mentioned in this law is its previous scientific name (Coius pulcher) and this creates issues when implementing the law.

Citation: Vidthayanon, C. 2013. Datnioides pulcher. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T180969A7656475. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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