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Oxydoras niger (Valenciennes, 1821)

Image contributors to this species:

Danny Blundell (4)  Frants Lehmann (1 Stamp) Jean-Francois Helias (3) Allan James (3)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Article Etymology = Genus Etymology = Species

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Search Google  All Catfish Species Inventory


Relevant Information:

Occurs over mud in streams and lakes. Forms schools. Feeds on detritus, chironomid and ephemeropteran larvae, and crustaceans. Known from temperatures ranging from 24-29.8 °C, pH range of 5-9, and an alkalinity range of 42-142. One of the main characteristics of the doradids is the presence of thorn like projections along the side of the body, which are known as scutes. These scutes are very sharp, so care should be taken when moving these fish. A real “Tank buster” if ever there was one. Quite a character obviously suited to large accommodation especially if keeping a number of fish together. Peaceful towards other fish and members of its own kind with doradids such as Agamyxis pectinifrons (Spotted Dora), Platydoras costatus (Striped Dora), Oscars and any other fish of a compatible size. Large pieces of bogwood and clean plastic drainpipe of suitable diameter for them to hide under. Ideally heater guards should be provided in order for the fish not to burn themselves.

Common Name:

Mother of Snails Catfish, Ripsaw Catfish & Black Doradid


Doras niger, Doras humboldti, Pseudodoras niger, Corydoras edentatus, Rhinodoras niger, Rhinodoras prionomus, Rhinodoras teffeanus 




South America: Amazon region, Peru, Brazil, Rio Purus, Rio Sao Francisco.


In excess of 90cm (36ins)


21-24°C (70-75°F)   




ScotCat Factsheet: no. 114. Dec. 2005.
Sabaj, M.H. and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. 2003 Doradidae (Thorny catfishes). p. 456-469. In: R.E. Reis, S.O. Kullander and C.J. Ferraris, Jr. (eds.) Checklist of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Porto Alegre: EDIPUCRS, Brasil.
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2009.FishBase.World Wide Web electronic publication.www.fishbase.org, version (04/2009).



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