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Fish: Tigerfish

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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:02 pm
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Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:22 am Unread post
Batmad wrote
I would love to catch one of these guys on fly :twisted:

I have heard they put up a massive fight! :dance:

*mumbles to self* need to plan a trip :hmz:

Ps- you dont want to be bitten by one of these!


the fight is the best u can get, incomparable...
we go 4 them every year, excellent
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Fish: Tigerfish

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:07 am Unread post
Hello all. Looking at photos from our last trip to Kruger and couldn't help but notice that one shot was of an African Fish Eagle eating a tigerfish! Didn't know they were in the Sabie River. Shot taken just south of Lower Sabie. Would be interested to know if anyone else has any experience of this?!!!


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:17 am Unread post
During our last stay we say allot of tigerfish in the sabie river.They were busy eating a dead kurper.There were allot of catfish as well.I have a pic not so great shot but best I could manage.Was on the low water bridge at lower sabie.
Image


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:25 am Unread post
I hace read that tigerfishing in the Sabie was a favourite pastime of staff many years ago .


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 3:02 pm Unread post
I saw them from the bridge at Lower Sabie as well a year or so ago, when the water was nice and clear and still.


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:32 pm Unread post
Here below is some detail about this beautiful fish.
Seeing them on the prowl is just as good as a four legged predator sighting.

Tigerfish
Tiervis
Hydrocynus vittatus

Hydrocynus = Striped Water dog.

Family : Characidae

The top predator of the South African Freshwater Fish and one of the most beautiful.

Description :

Silver streamlined body with normally about eight horizontal blue to black stripes and a bluish sheen on the back. Large bony head, each jaw equipped with eight sharp protruding teeth. The eyes are prominent and well developed. The fins are pointed and coloured yellow to blood red with often a black tinge - more prominent in the deeply forked tail. It has a pominent dorsal fin with a black adipose fin towards the rear. A pair of chest fins and a dorsal and anal fin finish of the appearance of this beautiful fish. Male and female Tigerfish are similiarly built and coloured, the females of the species grow into the larger sizes - exceeding 70 cm in length.

Biology and Ecology

Tigerfish are inhabitants of open well oxygenated warm waters such as found in the larger rivers and lakes. Clear waters are their preferred hunting area as they hunt mainly on sight. Younger fish hunt in moving schools, only the larger fully grown ones hunt on their own. Tigerfish normally swim close to the water surface where they often become of an African Fish Eagle always on the lookout for a meal.

Males reach puberty at the age of 3 to 4 years ( length 30 to 40 cm), breeding females normally exceed 40 cm and are older than the males. Breeding takes place in summer when the adults migrate to suitable spawning areas. A large female Tigerfish can bear up to 780 000 eggs. Tigerfish do not normally breed in the Kruger Park, they migrate to Mozambique where they spawn and the fry hatch, small hatchlings are often seen in the rivers of Kruger, they already have completed a long trek their new temporary home.

Tigerfish have not yet been bred sucessfully in captivity.

The tooth structure changes from cone shaped at the fish length of 10 to 25 mm to the razor sharp ones when fully grown. Worn teeth are replaced by a new set, grown in a groove just underneath the functional teeth.

Newly hatched fry feed on invertebrates and and sooplankton, and soon change their feeding habits to a fish diet normally at the length of 75 - 100 mm. They may supplement their diet with aquatic insects.

Tigerfish hunt on sight and will take any prey up to 40% of it's own length. It will grab the prey from the side and swallow it whole, head first. Common prey species are from the Tilapia, Barbus, Labeo species as well as Gobies.

Adult Tigerfish caught in the Park average 1,5 to 2,5 kg in mass, however larger specimens of up to 6.0 kg have been taken inthe Sabie, Komati, and Letaba Rivers. The Tigers in the lakes and rivers further north grow much larger, specimens up to 15.5 kg have been caught.

Distribution

Except for the Kunene and Kafue Rivers and the upper reaches of the Save-Runde Rivers and thge Lake Malawi they frequent most of the Lakes and Rivers of Africa with warm and well oxygenated water.

In the Kruger Park they are found in the perrenial rivers below 300 m, from the Crocodile up to the Limpopo Rivers.

Threats

Pollution, leading to increased acidity, oxygen deficient, stagnant water will lead to decreased Tigerfish populations as well as dam walls and weirs without fish ladders, restrict their movement and intefere with their breeding habits. Exceptional cold spells will also lead to their decline as they are very thermal sensitive.


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:08 pm Unread post
Hi , have just returned from a memorable week , camping at Malelane.
Had the most wonderfull sightings in the south and I got another 2 extra on my list.
Tigerfishes at LS bridge and a Caracal on the Biyamiti rd. :D :D :D :D
The Tigers were slowly swimming up and down next to the bridge, water was like a mirror, see pic.

Believe it or not we had 9 sightings of Leopard in 6 days :thumbs_up: , 3 sightings of wilddog,2 x black rhino :thumbs_up: , 4 x Lion.
Image
ps. Hilton Paris was right, there are Tigers in the Kruger :lol: :lol:


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:12 pm Unread post
KOOS BEST wrote
ps. Hilton Paris was right, there are Tigers in the Kruger :lol: :lol:

:lol:

And you actually looked at more than birds and mammals. 8)


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:17 pm Unread post
Image


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:19 pm Unread post
:redface: Sorry I meant Paris Hilton :redface:


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:21 pm Unread post
DuQues wrote
KOOS BEST wrote
ps. Hilton Paris was right, there are Tigers in the Kruger :lol: :lol:

:lol:

And you actually looked at more than birds and mammals. 8)



I thought Tigers only occur in "Woods ". :tongue:


Re: Tigerfish!

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:43 pm Unread post
Well done Koos - this sighting is just as good as any, thanks for the photographs.


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:30 am Unread post
Forgot to mention , those Tigers were 400-500mm long.


Re: Tigerfish!

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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:01 am Unread post
Indeed a beautiful fish! We also saw a very big one (approx 500mm) form the Lower Sabie bridge :cam:

Image


Re: Tigerfish!

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Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:19 am Unread post
The Tigers in the Sabie River indicate that the waters are still quite good as they are quite high up in the food chain.

I am so pleased to see that there are many others who also spend time watching out for the big 5 of the Superclass Pisces.

My big 5 are the:

Tiger-fish - hydrocynus vittatus.
Large-scaled Yellowfish - Barbus marequensis.
Red-nosed Labeo - Labeo rosae.
Sharp-tooth Catfish - Clarius gariepinus.
Southern Red-breasted Tilapia - Tilapia rensalli swierstrae.
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