Update: December 2009.
You may have known this Dorad as Platydoras hancockii
or Amblydoras hancockii but it has now been placed back
to the Amblydoras genera as this species was misidentified,
and is actually Amblydoras nauticus
his month (Sept.2005)
I am going back to a not too distant memory when I was lucky enough
to take a fish catching trip to the Peruvian Amazon in 2000 and
to attain a catfish that seemed to appear in every catchment net
back then, the "Croaking Spiny Catfish", Amblydoras
This species from the Doradidae family
were very abundant in the Rio Orosa, a small tributary of the
Rio Amazonas down the river from the city of Iquitos in Peru.
We were catching very small juveniles about a ½ mile down
this river in a small flooded cocha near the head of a small lake.
The month was July and the waters were supposed to be quite low
but were a bit higher than normal for this time of year. These
catfish must have spawned a month or two earlier when the waters
were higher and having received fresh cool water from the rising
They can be quite variable in colour pattern as they are widespread
in the Amazon region. Below can be seen one of my 6 sub-adults
from this catchment. This fish was approximately 2 years old when
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 Croaking Spiny
Again in common with most members of this
family, they are easy to keep but are
very secretive and you may not see them from one week to the
next. I have found after a considerable time
in captivity that they will venture out at spead to pick up any
tasty morsels that is making its way to the substrate.
D 1/5; A 1/11; P 1/5.
Dorsal fin-spine toothed on both anterior and posterior surfaces.
Spinous scutes confined to the posterior half of the body. 3 pairs
Brown body which is quite variable.
Two black blotches, one below adipose fin
and a large one at the caudal peduncle. Black line runs from caudal
peduncle along body just below lateral line which stops posterior
to the dorsal fin and takes a downward turn. Irregular spots and
blotches to the head area.
No problem in a normal community tank as long
as you can give them plenty of hiding places to make them feel more
There are no known documented spawnings of
this catfish in aquaria, but it is reported [Hancocki] that they
construct a nest of leaves in the substrate and the eggs are laid
during wet weather (flooded season), and once laid the eggs are
covered with leaves. Both parents guard the eggs and emerging fry.
|It is said that the females
underside is a dirty white colour whereas the males have a
Good quality flake food, frozen blood worms
and tablet food. Live worms such as whiteworm and cut up garden
; Freshwater Fishes of the
blunt; doras = leathery skin, cuirass.
nauticus : Named after the
type locality, the town of Nauta, located on the north bank
of the major Upper Amazonian tributary.
- The head end.
Posterior - The tail end.
Scutes - Bony covering.
Swim Bladder - The air sac that gives fish
buoyancy and balance. Acts as sound resonator in some fish.
Information Sheet no.15
seris de Guías Tropicales De Campo. Pecos del medio Amazonas
Región de Leticia. 546 p.
Allan James @
nauticus, Zathorax nauticus
|Croaking Spiny Catfish,
Marbled Talking Catfish.
Upper Amazon River basin, Peru. Type locality:
Nauta, (Upper Amazon).
x 12” x 12” (60 x 30 x 30mm)
| 6.5 - 7.5
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