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Megalechis picta (Müller & Troschel, 1848)

Image contributors to this species:

Julian Dignall (2) Yann Fulliquet (1) Danny Blundell (3) Michael Huthart (2) Johnny Jensen's Photographic Library (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

The third image specimens were collected by image contributor and Swiss aquarist, Yann Fulliquet, in the Rio Negro near  the town of Barcelos, Brazil.  Due to the recent work carried out by Reis, RE, P-Y Le Bail & JHA Mol, 2005. (New  Arrangement in the  Synonymy of Megalechis Reis, 1997 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae).  Copeia 2005: 678–682.) What we once thought of as Megalechis thoracata is now Megalechis picta and can be differentiated from the aforementioned thoracata by having a band in its caudal, whereas M. thoracata has a spotted caudal fin. Aquarium Care: Keeping this species is not too hard. They can become quite boisterous in a community setup with their digging and unsettling other fish at night but as long as your other inhabitants are of a decent size and are not "Neon Tetra size", as remember this fish can get to nearly 7inchs in size and a small 1 inch tetra at night may be too much of temptation to even the most docile of animals. The only time they can get aggressive is if you have a pair and they are in the throes of spawning as the males can get quite tetchy and it is not unknown for a male to kill the female in the quest to produce a family. This does not happen all the time but best to keep a look-out for any aggressive behavior. This species is a bubblenester with the male building it at the water surface. The female lays her eggs in the nest and the male looks after them. This is the point that you may have to take the female out of the tank as they can get aggressive when guarding the nest.

Common Name:

Port Hoplo, Tail Bar Armoured Catfish


Callichthys longifilis, C. pictus, C. sulcatus, C. thoracatus, Hoplosternum orinocoi, H. thoracatum




South America: Amazon, Orinoco and upper Essequibo River basins, and coastal rivers of northern Brazil


15.5cm (6¼ins)


18-28°C (64-82°F)




Reis, RE, P-Y Le Bail & JHA Mol, 2005. (New Arrangement in the Synonymy of Megalechis Reis,1997 (Siluriformes: Callichthyidae). Copeia 2005: 678–682.)



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