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Platydoras armatulus (Valenciennes, 1840)

Image contributors to this species:

Danny Blundell (1) Allan James (4) TotalFishkeeping (2) DeLane (1) Peru Aquarium Group (1) Graham Layley (1) Reinhold Wawrzynski (4)

ScotCat Sources:

Factsheet Article Article Article Etymology = Genus

Other Sources:

Fishbase  Google Search  All Catfish Species Inventory  Blog  Wikipedia

Relevant Information:

This Dorad has been known in the hobby for many years as Platydoras costatus but we now know that this species has never, or very rarely been exported and as such the species that we thought was P.costatus is actually Platydoras armatulus. P.costatus originates from the coastal drainages of Suriname and French Guiana (i.e., Corantijn, Suriname, Maroni) and lacks a distinct light stripe on the head and sides. There are four recognised species of Platydoras: P. armatulus (Paraguay-Paraná and portions of Amazon and Orinoco basins), P. costatus (Corantijn and Maroni basins), P. brachylecis (Rio Mearim, rio Pindaré, rio Itapecuru and rio Parnaíba basins in northeastern Brazil) and P. hancockii (Negro, Essequibo, Demerara, and upper Orinoco basins). In common with most of the Doradidae family it can create a sound by grating its fin bones in each socket and amplifying the noise via the swim bladder which is one reason why it got its common name of the “Chocolate Talking Catfish”. Aquarium Care: This is a fairly easy catfish to keep as long as you can provide it with shelter such as pipes or cave work. It will even jam itself into the pipe with its pectoral spines and will be unremovable. Diet: Easy to feed on frozen food such as bloodworm, tablet and pellet foods. In youngsters it is better to feed at night after lights out, the older they get they will get bolder and come out at feeding time.

Common Name:

Raphael Catfish, Chocolate Talking Catfish, Humbug Cat


Doras armatulus  




South America: Paraná River basin. Type locality: Brazil, le Parana, mais non au-dessous du 27º30' de latitude sud.


20cm. (8ins)


24-30°C (75-87°F)




Piorski, N.M., J.C. Garavello, M. Arce & M.H. Sabaj Pérez (2008): Platydoras brachylecis, a new species of thorny catfish (Siluriformes: Doradidae) from northeastern Brazil. Neotropical Ichthyology 6 (3): 481-494.
ScotCat Factsheet no. 073. July 2002.
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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