Your internet guide to
all things catfish

Back to Family page Back to Family page









Hoplosternum littorale (Hancock, 1828)

Image contributors to this species:

Danny Blundell (1) Peru Aquarium Group (1) Daniel Blom (1) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2) Fernando Tabacchi (4) Haraldo Bishop (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Inhabits swamps. During the rainy season, adults consume a great quantity of chironomids associated with detritus. During the dry season, they feed mostly on terrestrial insects, micro-crustaceans, aquatic Diptera, and detritus. Absorbs a great quantity of anaerobic bacteria from the substrate. First reproduction occurs after one year. Used to be cultured commercially in Guyana. Cultured in Trinidad on a semi-commercial scale. Aquarium Care: Provide large Echinodorus plants in pots as they will dig plants up if planted in the substrate. Provide floating plants at the surface to darken the aquarium and also provide strong filtration in the tank. Breeding: They are bubble nesters so the male will build a nest at the surface. You could also place a piece of polystyrene in the tank as the male will often use this to build the nest. After the eggs are laid the male will chase the female away and guard the nest. It may be advisable to move the female from the tank as the male will get quite aggressive. The eggs will hatch in three days and the fry should be fed small foods such as Brine shrimp naupli and crushed flake or fry flakes, manufactered small grain foods. You may have to remove the male at this point but this will depend from species to species. Diet: Worm foods, tablets, live and frozen foods. Remarks: The specimens 6,7,8 and 9 thumbnail images were caught by the image contributor in an irrigation channel of water in the centre of Venezuela in the State of Aragua, in the Taguaiguay irrigation system, 435 m above sea level. Temperatures were typically tropical at between 19° C - 28° C. The last thumbnail image specimen was a male caught by the image contributor in Argentina at a lagoon near Santa Fe city. Hoplosternum littorale is the species of Callichthyidae with widest distribution. It is present in all of South America east of the Andes and north of Buenos Aires, including the Río Orinoco, Trinidad, coastal rivers of the Guianas, Río Amazonas drainage, Río Paraguay, lower Río Paraná and coastal systems in southern Brazil. One single lot is known from the upper rio Paraná (MZUSP 40336) and the rio São Francisco drainage (MCP 16715). Oliveira (1991) suggested that these occurrences may represent introduced populations. Very recently (December, 1995) I received from Dr. Leo Nico a lot of this species collected in Florida (USA) (Reis 1995). Key to species: Second infraorbital bone extremely developed, articulating with the pterotic-supracleithrum and covering the entire area of skin between eye and opercle; coracoids exposed ventrally but not in contact in the midline even in fully matured males; 4-6 scutes of upper lateral series with lateral line perforations.

Common Name:

Fork Tailed Hoplo, Brown Hoplo, Cascudo, Clay Hoplo


Callichthys littoralis, C.laevigatus, C.albidus, C.subulatus, C.chiquitos, C.melampterus Hoplosternum laevigatum, H. stevardii, Cataphractops melampterus, H.schreineri, Cascadura maculocephala, H.shirui, H.littorale daillyi, H.littoralis daillyi, H.thoracatum cayennae




South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Fr Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Trinidad &  Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela


20cm (8ins)


18-26°C (64-79°F)


6.0 -8.0.


Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl 1985 Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (04/2011).
Reis, Roberto E. 1996. Hoplosternum Gill 1858. Version 29 April 1996 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Hoplosternum/15336/1996.04.29 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/



Back to Family Back to Family page









Back to Family Back to Family page
























































































                                                                                               updated = September 11, 2018 © ScotCat 1997-2018