Aspidoras pauciradiatus (Weitzman
& Nijssen, 1970)
his is one of my favourite Aspidoras
species. It is of course very small, but has a very pretty colour
pattern, in that well looked after specimens will have black chevron
markings running from the caudal peduncle to the mid-dorsal area.
There can also be a golden lateral line running through the body
and a black blotch to the dorsal, the underside is white.
In earlier aquatic literature this
species was erroneously captioned as Corydoras cochui a
small species very similar to Corydoras
habrosus from Brazil.
As mentioned, specimens in good condition, especially females,
will have black markings that will stand out and usually sends
a signal to the aquarist that they are happy in their surroundings.
These 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 page.
This is one of the few Aspidoras that can be readily identified
by its conspicuous markings. It has also 6 soft rays in the dorsal
while the rest of the genus has 7. ( pauciradiatus means,
few fin rays). Most other Aspidoras species tend to have
a brown colouration with a scattered spotted pattern which can
lead to identification problems.
The above (very bad!)
photo shows the one youngster from my January 2001 spawning. You
can just see the fantastic black colouration in the caudal fin
and also in the dorsal. My breeding experience of this species
you can read about further down in the breeding table.
Dorsal 1/6; Anal i,6; Pectorals; 1/7; Ventrals
1/5. 23 Dorsolateral body scutes. 20 Ventrolateral body scutes.
2 pre-adipose scutes.
Ground colour of head and body pale tan. No
mask present but melanophores dense between eyes and on top of head
producing a dark brown colour. Top of snout pale brown with 7-8
moderate sized black spots in a triangular pattern with one end
of triangle at tip of snout. Small black spots on head and body,
the spots on the body tend to be in rows which converge into the
scute junctions. (The effect vaguely resembles a series of posteriorly
pointing chevrons). Belly region pale tan, without dark pigment.
Dorsal fin with a large black blotch at the base, with one or two
narrow horizontal bands above. Pigment of these bands confined to
the fin rays. Pectoral and ventral fins clear. Anal fin with one
or two rows of pigment, confined to the fin rays and formimg a band.
Adipose fin with some on the spine. Caudal fin with about five rows
of narrow black bars, third from anterior band being the darkest,
this pigment confined to the fin rays.
does not do well in a mixed community tank with larger tankmates
due to its size and retiring nature. A better idea is a smaller
tank with small characins/tetras or even a tank on their own. Buy
at least 6 or more as they do better in their own company and when
settled will come to the front of the tank at feeding time. I find
that Java Moss and Java Fern plants with a sand substrate and a
box or sponge filter in a 18" x 12" x 12" tank will
keep them happy, with weekly water changes of 30 to 50% adequate.
Very difficult to breed but has been done
on a few ocassions. 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. Update:
I did manage to spawn this species after many years of frustration
( Jan.2001). Tank parameters were: 18" x 10" x 10"
with loads of Java Moss and a sand substrate. I added an internal
pump to the sponge filter which already resided in the tank to really
make the water move around the tank. I carried out a 75% cool water
change and they laid 40 eggs on the outside of the internal power
filter. I then removed the very small eggs to a small rearing tank.
The temperature was 77f, p.H 6 and GH 1. I only managed to raise
one fry as the rest of the eggs fungused, but now that they have
spawned once the chances are greatly enhanced for a second spawning.
Prefers small live food such as newly hatched
brine shrimp but will also take small frozen foods and good quality
crushed flake food, plus tablet food.
Baench, Aquarium Atlas 2 1993.
Aspidos = shield; doras = cuirass
pauciradiatus: With few (fin) rays
(6 rays in dorsal.)
Catfish Association of Great Britain Vol.1
Nijssen & Isbrücker; 1976, Key to the Species of
Middle: Allan James @
Bottom: Dennis Barrett