Amblyceps mangois (Hamilton,
ur factsheet this month (June 2007) brings
us to a member of the Asian family, Amblycipitidae, and the Indian
Torrent Catfish, Amblyceps mangois.
At one time this family was monotypic, but due to the work carried
out by Ng and Kottelat, there are now thirteen species in this
genus, A. mucronatum, A. murraystuarti, A. platycephalus,
A. foratum, A. variegatum, A. laticeps, A. caecutiens,
A. serratum, A. tenuispinis, A. macropterus, A. carinatum, A.
apangi and our factsheet of the month, A. mangois.
A. mangois differs from these other species in having
a relatively short body with 34-36 (versus 38-40) vertebrae, and
a caudal fin with upper and lower lobes of distinctly different
shapes (versus truncate caudal fin in A. murraystuarti and
with both lobes similar in shape in other Indochinese species).
The Pectoral spine is smooth. Due to the deeply forked caudal
fin (only A. tenuispinis, A. carinatum and A. macropterus
have this trait ) this catfish is sometimes referred to as "The
Dorsal 1/6; pectorals: 1,7; Ventrals i, 5;
Anal fin ii-iii, 7-9; Caudal 19. Eyes small and subcutaneous. Jaws
unequal, either jaw may be longer than the other. Teeth villiform
in bands on upper jaw produced at the sides, lower jaw a similar
narrow band which is interrupted in the middle. Palate without teeth.
Four pairs of barbels; maxillary barbels reaching middle or end
of pectoral spine, nasal barbels equaling head length, outer and
inner mandibular barbels as long as nasal. Rayed dorsal fin inserted
almost above pectoral fin base, with six rays and a concealed spine
not reaching pelvic fin. Pelvic fin not reaching anal fin. Anal
fin not reaching caudal fin. Least height of caudal peduncle 1.0
to 1.6 in its length. Caudal fin deeply forked, upper lobe longer.
These catfish live in small hill-streams
where the water is clear, cool and highly oxygenated, and they
hide out in the rocks and pebbles that adorn the bottom of these
streams. This catfish has to put up with different conditions
in these streams wheras it can turn from a gently flowing stream
to a raging torrent and as such has adapted to life in these
It can also regulate the amount of water that enters its gills
and it uses a fold of skin that resides behind the gill opening
to suspend its breathing where oxygenated water is retained
and a slow absorption of oxygen is carried out. It is also capable
of moving from stream to stream as their habitats dry up.
Keeping this catfish is actually not too much of a problem as
long as you can provide conditions that are benificial to its
surroundings. Breaking up the surface of the water with a spray
bar is a good idea which oxygenates the water. A bed of sand
or smooth gravel, as they like to bury themselved in the substrate,
and a few pipes and caves for them to hide away and feel secure
in their surroundings.
Olive brown lighter below. A dark lateral
band branching towards caudal and anal base may be present.
Best kept with larger Danio's such as "The
Giant Danio" (Danio aquepinneatus) Barbs and Rasboras.
Any medium sized fish that like water movement in the aquarium
This species breeds in the summer in its
natural habitat. Not yet bred in aquaria.
In their natural habitat their diet consists
of aquatic insects and larvae. In an aquarium set-up they like worm
foods such as frozen bloodworm and whiteworm. They feed very much
like the Tatia species from South America where they feed
frantically on the move, twisting and turning to take the food.
|Females have a pair of
unbranched ovaries and are smaller than the males who have
Having only one species, such as a monotypic
family of fishes.
Subcutaneous: Positioned beneath the skin.
Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining to the upper
jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Nasal barbels: On top of the head, by the
nostrils. (nasal barbels)
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to the lower
jaw. (mandibular barbels)
= Amblys = blunt;
ceps = from caput head.
Top picture: © Tobias
Keeping the Forked-tailed
Catfish, Aquarist &
Pondkeeper, March 1994, p74-77.
Jayaram, K.C.; Catfishes of India, Narendera
Publishing House. p156-157.
Ng, H.H., 2005 Amblyceps carinatum, a new
species of hillstream catfish from Myanmar (Teleostei: Amblycipitidae).
Raffles Bull. Zool. 53(2):243-249.
Bottom picture: Original Source