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Cetopsis motatanensis (Schultz, 1944)

Image contributors to this species:

Mark Sabaj Pérez (1)

ScotCat Sources:

Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

Cetopsis motatanensis can be distinguished from all of its congeners by the combination of the presence of an eye, the conical teeth on the vomer and dentary, the rounded posterior nares that is distinctly separated from the contralateral nares by a distance greater than the width of the posterior nares, the absence of a dark humeral spot, the absence of a posteriorly-rounded, variably-developed, bilobed patch of dark pigmentation at the base of the caudal fin, the absence of dark pigmentation on the distal portions of the pelvic and anal fins, the caudal fin darkly pigmented throughout other than for the narrow pale distal margin, and the possession of 18 to 20 preanal vertebrae, 15 to 17 precaudal vertebrae, 33 to 35 caudal vertebrae, 48 to 50 total vertebrae, and 9 pectoral-fin rays. Diet: the Cetopsinae, are notorious for their voracious feeding habits; attacking not only carrion, but also live fishes in gill-nets (Barthem & Goulding, 1997: 44), and on occasion humans (Goulding, 1989: 185). The predatory and scavenging feeding habits of these species of Cetopsis perhaps contributed to the erroneous assumption that members of the Cetopsinae are “parasitic”; a conclusion that may have lead various previous researchers to align members of that subfamily with the species of the family Trichomycteridae, some members of which feed on the blood of their hosts. Remarks: In contrast to the voracious feeding habits of Cetopsis candiru and C. coecutiens, all other members of the subfamily for which the diet is known prey primarily on allochthonous and aquatic insects.

Common Name:



Pseudocetopsis plumbeus motatanensis




South America: Lake Maracaibo basin of Venezuela and Colombia. Type locality: Río Motatán, 4 km. above Motatán, Venezuela.


15.5cm. (6¼ins)


22-28°c (71-83°f )




Vari, R.P., C.J. Ferraris, Jr. and M.C.C. de Pinna 2005 The neotropical whale catfishes (Siluriformes: Cetopsidae: Cetopsinae), a revisionary study. Neotrop. Ichthyol. 3(2):127-238.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.



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