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Trachelyopterus galeatus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Image contributors to this species:

Allan James (4) Peru Aquarium Group (1) Daniel Blom (1) Enrico Richter (1) Julio Endler (2) Devya Hemraj (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Dorsal spines (total): 1; Dorsal soft rays (total): 5 - 6; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 20 - 25. The body is stocky, the head a little depressed, the inferior jaw a little prognathous, the cephalic helmet covered with finely pigmented skin in adults, with a fontanelle shorter than the orbital diameter. Occurs in swamps. Well-adapted to hypoxic environments, being able to survive for hours, emerged. Adults feed on small fishes, arthropods, worms and sometimes on fruits. The spiny structure of the pectoral fins enables the male to hold the females during mating (internal fertilization). Sperm can be kept in the female's genital tract for several months, owing to a gelatinous emission from the seminal vesicle of the male. At maturity, the size of the adhesive eggs (20% of the female's weight) is 3 mm. Nine days after hatching, alevin size is 1.5 cm and they feed on microscopic worms or small insects. At around 11 days, their negative phototropism pushes them to hide themselves under branches or rocks. Aquarium Care: As with most species in this family they need hiding places such as pipes/caves where they will reside most of the day. Will come out at night to prowl so smaller fishes will be looked upon as prey although this is not one of the most aggressive members of this family. Diet: Most prepared foods such as tablet and pellet and frozen foods such as bloodworm. If the aquarium is dimly lit you can see the it coming out to feed. Remarks: Depending what river sytem they are imported from they can be variable in colouration, from light to dark.

Common Name:

Common Woodcat


Silurus galeatus, Pseudauchenipterus galeatus, Trachycorystes galeatus, Parauchenipterus galeatus, Auchenipterus maculosus, Parauchenipterus paseae




South America: Brazil, French Guiana, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago


22cm. (8¾ins)


20-24°c (67-75°f.)




Boujard, T., M. Pascal, F.J. Meunier and P.-Y. Le Bail 1997 Poissons de Guyane. Guide écologique de l'Approuague et de la réserve des Nouragues. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Paris, 219 p.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (01/2011).



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