Basa – Identification & Biology (alt)

Photo credit: N.N. Phoung et al. 2006. CAA2

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Geographic range and countries and Chao Phraya basins in Asia, and are native to Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Thailand, and VietNam (

Habitat. Benthopelagic; potamodromous; freshwater (Reide, 2004); known from large rivers (Rainboth, 1996); found in rapids and also in deeper slower reaches and enters flooded forest (

Migration. When waters recede at the end of the rainy season, juveniles move back to the river and migrate upstream to hold out in deeper pools. With the return of the rainy season, juveniles return to the flood plains to feed. The process continues until sexual maturity when monsoon rain triggers an upstream migration to spawning habitats (Poulsen et al., 2004.


Maximum size, life span 120 cm SL (male/unsexed, Baird et al., 1999).

<life span to be added>

Food. Omnivorous; feed primarily on submerged vegetation, fruits and some mollusks (Vidtayanon, 1993). Also feeds on fish and crustaceans (Poulsen et al., 2004).

Reproduction. Sexes separate, fertilization external; nonguarders, eggs laid in open water or on substratum; egg scatterers (Chhea, 2002).

Spawning. One clear seasonal spawning peak per year (Chhea, 20002). Spawn at onset of flood season and young are first seen in June, averaging about 5 cm by mid-June (

Spawning grounds may be near the headwaters of the Mekong River.

Larvae migrate downstream (Poulsen et al., 2004); and feed on submerged vegetation


Source: FAO

Family: Pangasiidae

Common names

English: basa, royal basa

Laos: pa hua muam, pa yang, pba hua muam

Cambodia (Khmer): keir, trey pra kchau

Vietnam: cá Basa bocourti, cá ba sa

Description. Body stout and heavy, head broader than long, blue-lack back, blunt snout with broad white band on muzzle; rounded head and blunt rounded snout (


Contributors: The information on this page was originally compiled by Choo Poh Sze. Additional contributions have been made by … The information has been reviewed by …


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