his is the first Factsheet of
a new year (2006) and it marks a significant milestone
in the history of ScotCat as we are now entering into
the ninth year of bringing the latest information
to you on anything that is remotely connected to the
wonderful world of the Catfish.
go right back to the early eighties when I first started
to take a keen interest in Catfish and in these days
there was a great interest here in the U.K. in the
first of Dave Sands books "Catfishes of the World"
Vol. 1 which was published in 1983. The third volume
(1984) concentrated on the Auchenipteridae and Pimelodidae
families and it is this edition that took my interest
in the then new finds of the new genes, Brachyrhamdia.
There was a difference of opinion on whether the first
species identified, B. imitator, was indeed
a Pimelodella, Pimelodella imitator.
A paper written in 1986 by John Lundberg and Lucinda
McDade on this catfish stated that "‘Pimelodella
and Brachyrhamdia differ in the former having
the posterior cranial fontanelle wide open from the
frontals to the supraoccipital whereas it closes to
two small foramina in the latter (updated S.Grant,
March 2010). They do also state that Brachyrhamdia
is a deeper bodied fish than the Pimelodella
Brachyrhamdia genus was thought to be monotypic
(one species) until 1985 when Barry Black and David
Sands identified two more species in B.
marthaeand B. meesi.
There are as of date (updated March 2010), 5 species
of Brachyrhamdia, B. heteropleura,
marthae.and this months subject Brachyrhamdia meesi.
These catfish have now been removed from their close
relatives the Pimelodidae family and are now placed
in a new family, Heptapteridae.
species tend to be "mimics" of Corydoras
species and shoal with them. This is known as Batesian
mimicry (Sands 1990) and they share colour patterns
and eye masks of very many Corydoras species.
They steal substrate food from the Corydoras
and are protected in the larger shoal from large predators.
They are like
most pims, terrritorial with their own kind, and as
such it is advisable if keeping more than one that
it will need to be over two so that the aggression
is spread and diluted through a small group.
such as pipework/rocks/slates is a good idea to keep
them confident in their own surroundings. Water quality
would need to be bright with either internal or external
power filters for water movement and with water hardness
as low as possible.
Steven Grant for extra information.
Amazon River basin: Near
Deep pim-like body. Three pairs
of barbels. Posterior cranial fontanelle wide open
from the frontals to the supraoccipital.
Salmon/pink body colour with
three lines from the end of dorsal insertion to
the caudal peduncle. There are two lighter bands
with a darker line in between. Dark band at caudal
peduncle. Dark mask over eyes and top of head starting
at the beginning of dorsal insertion and carrying
on down to midway between pectoral and ventral fins.
Dusky tips to adipose fin and dorsal first spine.
Care & Compatibility
Not to be trusted with smaller
inmates such as smaller tetras and fry but will do
fine with larger Barbs etc. May nip Corydoras
and other Brachyrhamdia species when feeding,
so you will need to keep an eye out for this behaviour.
As yet unknown.
There are no known
external sexual differences, but females are probably
more robust in the body.
Readily accepts all manner
of prepared foods. Catfish pellets and tablets and
are particularly fond of frozen bloodworm and other
The space(s) between the bones
on top of the skull covered by skin. Supraoccipital:
Unpaired bone at the back at
the back of the skull, usually with a crest.
Brachy = short; rhamdia = from the vernucular name
'Nhamdiá or 'Jamdiá. meesi: In honour of Dr.G. Mees of
the Leiden Natural History Museum, Germany.
Steven. pers comm.
Sands, David; Catfishes of the World Vol.3:
Auchenipteridae & Pimelodidae. Dunure Publications.
1984. Sands, David; Practical Fishkeeping,
Look-Lively Lookalikes, p12-15 (no date).