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Physopyxis lyra Cope, 1872

Image contributors to this species:

Daniel Blom (2) Allan James (2)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory

Relevant Information:

There are three species in this genera, P. ananas, P. cristata and the more well known P. lyra with the first two being described by Sousa and Py-Daniel (2005). Physopyxis lyra differs from the other species of the genus by possessing a single row of spines on the lateral plates and a strong scapular girdle with long, broad coracoid processes having distal tips enlarged and divergent. outwards following expansion of process. Dorsal and pectoral spines strongly ossified. Dorsal spine pentagonal in cross-section with longitudinal groove along each lateral side, serrate along basal portion of anterior margin, posterior margin smooth. Pectoral spine well developed, depressed and curved, its tip usually reaching anal-fin origin. It is usually found in places with accumulated organic debris, like dense meshes of roots of floating macrophytes that are abundant in rivers with turbid water. Specimens also can be found among submersed leaf litter and among root mats of riparian plants, like Symmeria paniculata (Polygonaceae). Aquarium care: Predominantly nocturnal, and spends most of day time sheltered among submersed root mats or buried in sand. Diet: Will eat most prepared foods such as sunken flake and tablet foods but has a liking for frozen bloodworm.

Common Name:







South America: Amazon River basin, Peru and Brazil. Type locality: Amazon. Described in more detail in Cope (1872a: 273, pl. 5, figs. 1a–1c), with locality as Ambyiacu River, Ecuador (now Peru).


3.5cm. (1½ins)


23-26°C (73-79°F)




Sousa, L.M. and L.H. Rapp Py-Daniel 2005 Description of two new species of Physopyxis and redescription of P. lyra (Siluriformes: Doradidae). Neotrop. Ichthyol. 3(4):625-636.
ScotCat Factsheet no. 181. July 2011.
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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