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|The truth about the "Black" Cory|
by Ian Fuller
any people believe that the Black Cory is native to Venezuela and it is not. Even members of the trade make the mistake and perpetuate the misinformation.
Corydoras schultzei "Black"
The story of the "Black" Cory started in the early 1990's with Hartmut Eberhardt in Weimar, Germany where lived. He was breeding the C. aeneus form we now know as C. schultzii, and was producing thousands. However amongst these many offspring small numbers of black fry were emerging, Hartmut kept and raised these to maturity, and then through controlled breeding the strain was successfully fixed. Some of these "Black" young were sold to a commercial breeder in the Czech Republic, where they were subsequently reproduced in their thousands, and it was in 1996 that they were first introduced into the UK and soon became very popular.
Corydoras sp. venezuelanus
Now the point at which the controversy may have started, was a discussion in the PlanetCatfish forums regarding the "Black Cory and origin, it was mentioned that there was a dark form of another C. aeneus type we now know as C. venezuelanus that came from the Northern Guarico State of Venezuela and it is possible that this discussion triggered the confusion.
The dark form of C. venezeulanus have never commercially entered the hobby. If you are having trouble distinguishing one from the other, here is a simple guide. Young C. schultzii "Black" tend to have all reddish fins which darken with maturity. C. venezuelanus look very similar to the young C. schultzii "Black". However both the normal C. venezuelanus we see in the hobby, and the dark form have reddish dorsal and adipose fins, but the caudal, anal and ventral fins are grey.
There is a short article by Shane Linder, who collected both forms of C. venezuelanus, in the Species groups section under Aeneus group - Corydoras cf venezuelanus "Northern Guarico State"
Photographs © Allan James & Tobias Koch
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