Inhabits swamps. Hoplosternum littorale is
the species of Callichthyidae with the 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). Description:
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. 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. Reproduction: First
reproduction occurs after one year. Used to be cultured
commercially in Guyana. Cultured in Trinidad on a
semi-commercial scale. 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:
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. In the aquarium, 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.
Fork Tailed Hoplo, Brown Hoplo,
Cascudo, Clay Hoplo
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
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Fr Guiana, Guyana, Peru,
Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela.
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.