The giant barb or Siamese giant carp is the largest species of cyprinid in the world. These migratory fish are found only in the Mae Klong, Mekong and Chao Phraya river basins in Indochina. It has declined drastically due to habitat loss and overfishing, and it is now considered Critically Endangered.
Physical characteristics Barb captured in a fishing boat The head is rather large for the body. There are no barbels. The giant barb ranks among the largest freshwater fish in the world, and is probably the largest fish in the family Cyprinidae. It may reach 3 m (9.8 ft) (although this claimed maximum length needs confirmation) and weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb). Few large individuals are caught today. For example, no individual weighing more than 150 kg (330 lb) has been caught in Cambodia since 1994. Today the maximum length is about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) with an average length of 1 m (3.3 ft). Among the cyprinids, only the golden mahseer can reach a comparable length, but it is a relatively slender fish that weighs far less. This fish is actually tetraploid, meaning it has four of each chromosome (as opposed to diploid, the normal number in animals).