Chitala ornata – The spotted knifefish
Chitala ornata, the spotted knifefish, is a knifefish species with big spots on the body native to freshwater habitats in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Like all knifefish, it is a nocturnal tropical fish with a long body that resembles a knife. Other common names include: clown featherback, clown knifefish.
- Family: Notopteridae
- Genus: Chitala
- Species: Chitala ornata
- English names: spotted knifefish, clown featherback, clown knifefish
- Vietnamese names: thác lác cườm, thát lát cườm, cá cườm, nàng hai
The clown knifefish is one of the two common knifefish in Vietnam, the other being Notopterus notopterus. Both are farmed as food, especially in Hậu Giang province.
Like all knifefish or featherbacks in Vietnam, the spotted knifefish are often processed to make ground fish paste. Fresh fish paste can be cooked in knifefish soup. Fried or grilled fish paste (in form of fistcakes) can be consumed as food, or an ingredient for other dishes.
Various ways of cooking knifefish are also acknowlege.