small 'Corydoras type' fish from the Callichthyidae
family are very similar to Corydoras but are
smaller and slimmer with smaller eyes and have one
very important distinct difference from the latter,
of having a dual fontanel (opening in the head bone),
whereas the Corydoras genus has a single fontanel.
To find out more about these differences you can go
Genus Aspidoras in
the Ichthyology section of the ScotCat articles
Aspidoras can be problematic as most of them
(apart from Aspidoras pauciradiatus which is now
a Corydoras) have body marking of spots and blotches
on a tan background and unless you know the precise
area in Brazil where they were collected it can be
very difficult. I have over the past few years taken
drawings of species I have kept, and also seen on
the show bench, to differentiate between each species,
and will hopefully some day, to be able to identify
them from these sketches.
picture depicted above shows what is believed to be
A. menezesi although the colouration is more
golden with less spots than the normal form. The fry
of this form have black in the leading rays of the
dorsal fin and have carried this trait into the juvenile
needs a little more care to their husbandry than most
Corydoras species, in that the water parameters
should stringently be adhered to, in that regular
water changes of the same chemistry to keep them in
good condition. These fish don't seem to do well in
the hurly-burly of a community tank and would be better
placed in a species tank with strong filtration and
well planted, as they do tend to hide and are nervous
if there is no protection from the open spaces. They
also like the temperatures to be on the lower side
of tropical i.e. below 75°f.
this nice little catfish do buy at least four, (better
six), as they do better in their own company and tend
not to sulk with their own kind and of course you
could have a better chance of breeding them.
All Aspidoras belong to Lineage 2 with the
exception of A.
will prove to be a Corydoras and if a revision
is carried out will be Gastrodermus (Cope,
1878) and a member of Lineage 5 alongside members
of the "elegans group".
As of 2018 A. spilotus is now believed to
be a synoynm of A. menezesi.
Brazil, Ceará, Rio Granjeiro at Crato, 07°10’S,
39°25’W, tributary on left bank of Rio Salgado.
Male: 4.5cm (1¾ins)
Female: 5.0cm (2ins)
Dorsal 1/7; Anal ii,5; Pectorals;
1/9; Ventrals 1/5. 26 Dorsolateral body scutes. 23
Ventrolateral body scutes. 6 pre-adipose scutes.
Row of elongate blotches
along the side from the gill cover to the caudal
peduncle. The posterier blotches may be united.
The upper back is dusky, perhaps with some blotches
or showing a marbled pattern. The lower portion
of the body is generally unpigmented. The dorsal
fin has some blackish markings and the caudal fin
Care & Compatibility
Inoffensive catfish which
will suffer at the hands of aggressive tank mates.
Will do well in a species tank
or a community tank with smaller inmates such as tetras
and rasboras. Best to keep in a shoal of at least
Has been bred.
Similar to Corydoras in this respect but they
do tend to eat their eggs, so removing parents or
eggs after spawning is a good idea. They lay their
eggs in Java moss or on the aquarium glass and you
can raise the young as per the Corydoras genus.
Prefers live food such as newly
hatched brine shrimp but will also take frozen food
and good quality flake food, plus tablet food.
Anterior:The head end. Branchial:Pertaining
to the gills. Caudal fin: The tail. Caudal peduncle: The narrow part
of a fish's body to which the caudal or tail fin is
attached. Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s)
on top of the body. Genital papilla: A small, fleshy
tube behind the anus in some fishes, from which the
sperm or eggs are released; the sex of a fish often
can be determined by the shape of its papilla. Maxillary: Pertaining to the upper
jaw. (maxillary barbels). Odontodes:Hair
- like stuctures on the body. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head. Supraoccipital: Unpaired bone at the back of
the skull, usually with a crest.
Aspidos = shield; doras = cuirass. menezesi: Named in honour
of its collector, R.S. de Menezes.
W.E., 1989 An Atlas of Freshwater and Marine
catfishes: a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes.
T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. Nijssen & Isbrücker; 1976, Key to
the Species of Aspidoras. Sands,
of the World Vol.1,1983.