tigerfish, noun

Origin:
Named for its rapacity.
1. The freshwater charactin Hydrocynus vittatus of the Characidae, a ferociously predatory fish considered good angling; tiger sense 2 b.
Note:
In P. Skelton’s Complete Guide to Freshwater Fishes (1993), the name ‘tigerfish’ is used for H. vittatus.
1893 F.C. Selous Trav. & Adventure 303Burnett..caught a fine tiger-fish.
1894 Saturday Rev. 24 Nov. 563In fly-fishing..the chief quarry, the ‘tiger-fish’, ran to 8½ lbs., and afforded nearly as good sport as salmon.
1905 Addresses & Papers (Brit. & S. Afr. Assoc. Agric. Science) I. 365 (Pettman)As to fish, the king of rivers is no doubt the tiger-fish, whose huge teeth, long and sharp as needles, placed outside his mouth, and fitted into sockets, in the opposite jaw, have truly formidable appearance and make him a dangerous enemy indeed to those of the finny tribe with whom he comes in contact.
1929 J. Stevenson-Hamilton Low-Veld 128The usual feeding time of tiger-fish is during the two or three hours following sunrise, and again for a couple of hours before sunset.
1969 R.A. Jubb Freshwater Fishes of Sn Afr. 78A few words of warning — where there are tiger-fish there are usually crocodiles — keep away from the teeth of both however small they may be.
1971 Personality 5 Mar. 16The fighting tiger fish and the fresh water bream commit mass suicide on the bait or spinner.
1971 Daily Dispatch 2 June 15Rhodesia’s premier fishing contest, the Kariba International tiger fish tournament, is expected to draw more than 1 000 competitors from all over Southern Africa.
1974 Sunday Times 8 Dec. (Mag. Sect.)Even the tiger-fishing addicts behave with decorum on the serene waters.
2. Any of three species of marine fish: a. The bank steenbras (sense (b) see steenbras sense b), Chirodactylus grandis. b. The spotted grunter Pomadasys commersonnii of the Haemulidae, characterized by its numerous black spots; tiger sense 2 a; also called knorhaan (sense 2 b). c. The thornfish Terapon jarbua of the Teraponidae, a silvery fish with black or dark brown stripes.
Note:
In Smith and Heemstra’s Smiths' Sea Fishes (1986), the name ‘spotted grunter’ is used for P. commersonnii, and ‘thornfish’ for T. jarbua.
1905 H.E.B. Brooking in E. London Dispatch 31 Oct. 6I notice under the heading of ‘Remarks,’ upon the bank steenbrass, tiger-fish or river steenbras, the following:– ‘Abundant all through the year, Black transverse stripes,..thick lips and grunts when caught.’
1949 J.L.B. Smith Sea Fishes of Sn Afr. 183Therapon jarbua...Tigerfish. Pest of St Lucia...Widespread.., reaches as far south as Port Alfred, normally plentiful in estuaries north of the Kei, extends to almost fresh water.
The freshwater charactin Hydrocynus vittatus of the Characidae, a ferociously predatory fish considered good angling; tiger2 b.
The bank steenbras (sense (b) see steenbrasb), Chirodactylus grandis.
The spotted grunter Pomadasys commersonnii of the Haemulidae, characterized by its numerous black spots; tiger2 a; also called knorhaan (sense 2 b).
The thornfish Terapon jarbua of the Teraponidae, a silvery fish with black or dark brown stripes.
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18931974