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Xyliphius lepturus Orcés V. 1962

Image contributors to this species:

Steven Grant (1) Peru Aquarium Group (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  ACSI


Relevant Information:

Xyliphius live buried in the sand and perhaps gravel of swift flowing streams. The banjo catfish genus Xyliphius was established by Eigenmann (1912) to include a single species, X. magdalenae Eigenmann, from río Magdalena basin, Girardot, Colombia. That description was based on a single specimen, 32.0 mm SL. Later, four species were described in a short time frame: X. lepturus and X. melanopterus from western headwaters of río Bobonaza, upper Amazon basin (Orcés, 1962), X. barbatus (Alonso de Arámburu & Arámburu, 1962), and X. lombarderoi (Risso & Risso, 1964), from río Paraná, in Argentina. A sixth species, X. kryptos, was described by Taphorn & Lilyestrom (1983), from río Aricuaisá, lago de Maracaibo basin, Venezuela. Further collections, though small, expanded the distribution of species of Xyliphius beyond their type localities (Cala, 1977). Currently, the six nominal species of Xyliphius are known from northern South America in the río Magdalena system (X. magdalenae), lago de Maracaibo (X. kryptos), and western headwaters of the Amazonas basin and río Orinoco (X. lepturus and X. melanopterus), and from southern South America in the río de La Plata system (X. barbatus and X. lombarderoi) (Taphorn & Lilyestrom, 1983; Galvis et al., 1997; Calviño & Castello, 2008). Another new species, Xyliphius anachoretes (Figueiredo Carlos A, Britto Marcelo R. 2010) making 7 species in total is from the Tocantins-Araguaia River system. Aquarium Care: Not an easy species to keep therefore, anyone lucky enough to obtain any Xyliphius should provide a moderate to strong current over a sand substrate. Diet: provide plenty of live or frozen food.

Common Name:

Shark Banjo Catfish






South America: Upper Amazon and Orinoco River basins of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Type locality: Cerca de Desembocadura del rio Pucayacu en el Bobonaza, Ecuador.


13.0cm. (5ins)


22-25°C (72-76°F)


6.5 -7.6.


Figueiredo Carlos A, Britto Marcelo R. A new species of Xyliphius, a rarely sampled banjo catfish (Siluriformes: Aspredinidae) from the rio Tocantins-Araguaia system. Neotrop. ichthyol. [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Mar [cited 2011 Feb 10] ; 8(1): 105-112.
ScotCat Factsheet no. 194. August 2012.



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