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The Genus Aspidoras

Allan James


his is a synopsis on the 20 (2*added to make 20 from 18, updated Oct. 2009) species known from this small popular genera of the Callichthyidae family and the differences between them and the other members of the mailed catfishes.

The type specimen of the Aspidoras genera is A. rochai, R. von Ihering 1907 and the very latest discovery in 2005 was Aspidoras psammatides, Britto, Lima & Santos, 2005 and three years before that, Aspidoras velites Britto, Lima & Moreira, 2002. Below is the list of the 20 known species of Aspidoras and their exact location when discovered.
Species with Image is a link to an image and some information. Factsheet is a factsheet on the species. Article denotes an article.

Aspidoras albater, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Rio Tocantinzinha near São João da Aliança, 14°46'S, 47°30'W, Rio Tocantins system, Goiás, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras belenos, Britto 1998. Creek at Primavera do Leste - Paranatinga road, rio das Mortes basin, Estado do Mato Grosso, Brazil.

Aspidoras brunneus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Serra do Roncador, km 125 of the road Chavantina-Casximba, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras carvalhoi, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Açude Canabrava, Guaramiranga, Ceará, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras depinnai, Britto 2000. Creek at Amaraji-Primavera road, rio Ipojuca basin, 8°21'S, 35°26'W, Pernambuco State, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras eurycephalus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Rio Tocantins system, Corrego Vermelho into Rio das Almas, trib. of Rio Maranhao, ca. 15°S, 49°30'W, Goiás, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Rio Paraná system, Córrego Corguinho, estrada da Três Lagoas, 20°46'S, 51°43'W, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras lakoi, Miranda-Ribeiro 1949. Córrego na floresta do Grotão, frazenda da Cachoeira, Muncípio de Passos, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras maculosus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Rio Paiaiá, into headwaters of Rio Itapicurú, ca. 11°S, 40°30'W, Bahia, Brazil. Image Article

Aspidoras menezesi, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Rio Granjeiro at Crato, 7°10'S, 39°25'W, trib. on left bank of Rio Salgado, Ceará, Brazil. Image Factsheet

Aspidoras microgalaeus, Britto 1998. Small trib. of rio Culuene, km 86 of Paranatinga-Canarana road, rio Xingú basin, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras pauciradiatus (Weitzman & Nijssen 1970). Rio Araquaia, Brazil. Image Factsheet

Aspidoras poecilus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Creek upstream of village Porori, left bank of upper Rio Xingu, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image

 

Aspidoras psammatides,* Britto, Lima & Santos, 2005. Brazil, Estado da Bahia.

Aspidoras raimundi (Steindachner 1907). Rio Parnahyba near Victoria, Maranhao State, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras rochai, R. von Ihering 1907. Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras spilotus
, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1976. Riacho dos Macacos, trib. of R. Acaráu, Ceará, Brazil. Image

Aspidoras taurus, Lima & Britto 2001. R. Itiquira, R. Paraguai system, 16°56'S, 53°32'W, Fazenda Cabeceira do Itiquira, close to hwy BR-364, Alto Garças, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Image

 

Aspidoras velites, * Britto, Lima & Moreira, 2002. Brazil, Est. Mato Grosso, upper Rio Araguaia basin, Rio Tocantins drainage.

Aspidoras virgulatus, Nijssen & Isbrücker 1980. Espírito Santo, Brazil. Image

As can be gleaned from the above information, the genus Aspidoras are all to be found in Brazil, and that is where some of the identification problems arise, as a vast majority of the species are similarly coloured and marked and if you don't know the right location/river that they come from you are at a disadvantage right away as they will arrive from a central exporter in Brazil with maybe not even the right name attached to them.


Anatomical differences between Aspidoras and Corydoras:


Eye: very small in Aspidoras small in Corydoras.
Body shape: smaller size and body shape in Aspidoras compared to the much more bulkier Corydoras.
Head: smaller head shape in Aspidoras compared with Corydoras. Aspidoras posses a duel fontanel bone structure in the skull whereas Corydoras have only the one larger fontanel.

Below are line drawings of the skull formation of both genera and also a photo for clearer classification.

Aspidoras duel fontanel

Corydoras skull


Table 1. Morphometric characters in mm to the nearest tenth, and counts of the primary type-specimens of the species of Aspidoras, 13 species from, Key to the Species of Aspidoras; Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1976.

 
sl
bd
bw
Ids
Ips
h1
sn
Ibo
wi
ca
dcp
D
P1
A
P2
C
dbs
vbs
pas
rochai
39.9
10.6
10.4
-
-
10.2
5.4
1.9
4.5
4.5
5.5
1,7,i
i,5
i,6
1,9
7/7
27
24
6
raimundi
25.5
6.7
6.0
4.0
4.5
6.4
3.1
1.8
3.0
2.0
3.6
1,7,i
i,6
ii,5
1,9
7/7
25
23
4
Iakoi
33.4
10.4
9.1
3.2
5.1
9.6
4.8
1.2
4.6
3.2
4.9
1,7,i
i,6
i,5
1,9
7/7
26
24
11
pauciradiatus
23.2
6.8
5.9
4.5
5.5
6.2
2.5
1.7
2.8
3.5
2.9
i,6,i
i,5
i,6
1,7
7/7
23
20
2
albater
35.6
9.0
8.9
4.4
6.5
9.9
5.5
2.0
4.0
3.9
4.8
i,7,i
1,6
ii,5
1,8
7/7
26
23
5
brunneus
20.9
5.4
5.3
3.0
3.6
5.8
3.1
1.5
2.4
2.2
3.0
1,7,i
i,6
ii,5
1,9
7/7
26
23
4
carvalhoi
25.4
7.4
6.8
3.9
4.9
6.6
3.4
1.3
3.2
3.1
3.8
1,7,i
i,5
ii,5
1,9
7/7
25
22
4
eurycephalus
29.5
8.2
7.5
2.9
3.3
8.0
4.3
1.5
4.2
3.0
4.5
1,7,i
1,5
ii,5
1,9
7/7
26
23
4
fuscoguttatus
32.0
9.2
8.5
4.7
4.9
8.6
4.5
1.4
4.0
4.0
4.7
1,7,i
1,5
i,5
1,8
7/7
27
24
3
maculosus
37.2
9.7
8.7
4.8
5.5
9.5
5.1
2.3
3.8
5.8
4.8
1,7,i
i,5
ii,5
1,8
7/7
26
23
3
menezesi
41.8
11.2
10.3
5.8
7.5
10.9
5.9
2.4
4.1
4.7
5.5
1.7,i
i,5
ii,5
1,9
7/7
26
23
6
poecilus
29.2
8,3
7.1
5.4
5.9
7.8
4.1
1.9
3.7
2.4
4.2
1,7,i
1,5
ii,5
1,8
7/7
25
22
6
spilotus
34.0
8.2
8.1
4.2
5.5
9.3
5.1
1.9
3.2
3.5
4.1
1,7,i
1,5
1,5
1,9
7/7
25
22
3


Definition of Terms:
sl: standard length; bd: body depth; body width; Ids: length of dorsal spine; Ips: length of pectoral spine;
h1: head length; sn: snout length; Ibo: length of bony orbit; wi: least width of the interorbital; ca: width of corcoid area; dcp: least depth of the caudal peduncle; D: dorsal fin; P1: pelvic fin: A: anal fin; P2: pectoral fin;
C: caudal fin; dbs: number of dorsolateral body scutes; vbs: number of ventrolateral body scutes; pas: number of pre-adipose scutes.


KEY TO THE SPECIES OF ASPIDORAS

Ia. Snout length 2.5 or more in hi; length pectoral spine less than 4.5 in sl: number of dorso- and ventrolateral body scutes 23120; dorsal fin with a spine and 6 soft rays, last ray split to its base.......................
Aspidoras pauciradiatus(Weitzman & Nijssen, 1970)
b. Snout length 2.1 or less in hI; length pectoral spine'more than 4.5 in sI; number of dorso- and ventrolateral body scutes 25/22 or more: dorsal fin with. a spine and 7 soft rays, last ray split to its base............ 2
2a. Dorsolateral body scutes with a longitudinal solid dark brown band................ Aspidoras brunneus n. sp.
b. Dorsolateral body scutes without longitudinal solid dark brown band.......................................... 3
3a. Body with about 4 distinct oblique bars.................................................... Aspidoras albater n. sp.
b. Body with other colour markings or without colour
markings............................................................................................................................ 4
4a. Body with distinct dark midlateral blotches...........................................................................5
b. Body without distinct dark midlateral blotches........................................................................6
5a. Length bony orbit 5.3 or more in hi; body width 3.8 in sl;
6 pre-adipose scutes................................................................... Aspidoras rochai R. von lhering,1907
b. Length bony orbit 5.0 or less in hI; body width 3.9 or more in sI; 3 to 4 pre-adipose scutes
................................................................................................Aspidoras spilotus n. sp.
6a. Body without colour pattern.................................................... Aspidoras carvalhoi n. sp.
b. Body with a colour pattern................................................................................................. 7
7a. Length bony orbit 6.5 or more in hi; 6 or (usually) more pre-adipose scutes
............................................................................................Aspidoras lakoi, P. de Miranda Ribeiro, 1949
b. Combination of length bony orbit and number of pre adipose scutes not as in 7a........................... 8
8a. Body marbled with brown and with some rows of small roundish dark brown spots (lacking in juveniles)
............................................................................................. Aspidoras fuscoguttatus n. sp.
b. Body marbled with brown, without rows of small roundish dark brown spots.................................. 9
9a. Body with irregular oblique brown marbling; length dorsal spine 5.2 to 5.4 in sI....Aspidoras poecilus n. sp.
b. Body with irregular oblique dorsal spine 6.3 to 8.9 in sI.................. Aspidoras sp. aff. poecilus
c. Body with more or less roundish spots; length dorsal
spine more than 5.8 in sl........................................................................................................ 10
l0a. Dorsal fin usually with a conspicuous, triangular dark blotch..........Aspidoras raimundi (Steindachner, 1907)
b. Dorsal fin without a conspicuous, triangular dark blotch..............................................................11
lla. Length pectoral spine more than 8.0 in sI; interorbital width less than 2.0 in hI; length dorsal spine more than
9.5 in sI................................................................................... Aspidoras eurycephalus n. sp.
b. Length pectoral spine less than 8.0 in sl; interorbital width more than 2,0 in hI; length dorsal spine less than
9.5 in sl................................................................................................................................ 12
l2a. Length dorsal spine more than 7.3 in sl; length pectoral spine more than 5.7 in sI; body depth 3.8 to 4.0 in sI; body width 4.2 to 4.4 in sI; 3 to 4 pre-adipose scutes...................Aspidoras maculosus n. sp.
b. Length dorsal spine less than 7.3 in sl; length pectoral spine less than 5.7 in sI; body depth 3.3 to 3.8 in sI; body width 3.8 to 4.2 in sl; 5 to 6 pre-adipose scutes........................Aspidoras menezesi n. sp.

References: Catalog of Fishes
  Nijssen & Isbrücker; 1976, The South American Plated Catfish Genus Aspidoras, R. von Ihering,1907.
  Sands, David; Catfishes of The World Vol.1 Callichthyidae.
  Nijssen & Isbrücker; 1976, Key to the Species of Aspidoras.
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