splendens (Castelnau, 1855)
t first glance you could be excused of thinking
that this was a Corydoras species, but one look at the
broader based dorsal and you can then see why this is in another
genus, and along with another two species, B. britski and B.
multiradiatus form the genus, Brochis. They look superficiality
like a large bodied Cory but whereas the Cory's have between 6
and 8 dorsal ray counts Brochis splendens has 10-12, B.
britski has between 15/18 and B. multiradiatus, with
has also a longer snout, has 17.
There is actually a good excuse for compiling
this months factsheet ( Jan.2001) as this was one of the fish
that I had collected on my Peru 2000 trip in July alongside a
few other U.K. catfish enthusiasts including good friend Jools
Dignall of Planet Catfish fame.
We caught semi adults (picture above) at about 6cm in length in
a small cocha (small lake cut of by the main River) in the Rio
Orosa just downstream from the Madre Selva Forest Preserve. We
also caught them in the banks of the main river as they seem to
prefer slower moving waters and plenty of vegetation, and this
is certainly different from the C. elegans that we had
caught earlier in the day in a small red clay bottomed stream
that was not too far away from this location..
They have a nice bronze/green body coloration
and when caught in the wild (picture above) the colours stand
out magnificently and you can see why their common name is the
Emerald Catfish but they do fade slightly when brought
home. We found this in most of the fish that we caught as there
must be something to do with the diet and or water parameters
that we can't seem to impersonate in our own tanks.
Dorsal 1/10-12; Anal 1/6-7; Pectoral 1/7-9;
Ventral 1/5; 21-22 bony scutes in the upper lateral series, 20-21
in the lower. More strongly compressed than the Corydoras
spp., from which the genus Brochis is further distinguished
by the longer-based dorsal fin and the armoured snout. Males are
a little shorter than females and slimmer and its ventral fins are
You can still sometimes see this fish sold in the aquatic outlets
as Brochis coeruleus, a synonym which was used to describe
the juvenile version of this fish which was superficially different
to the adults in colouration and thus led to this confusion.
Ground colour of head and body can vary from
dull brownish/grey to bluish or greenish metallic coloured. The
lower half of the ventrolateral body scutes can be light yellow
to light pink. Dorsal, adipose and caudal fins greyish, reamaining
fins without pigmentation, except for the pectoral fin spines. In
some specimens there are dark grey spots on the dorsal fin rays,
sometimes forming one or two rows.
Keeping Brochis splendens in the aquarium
does not present too much of a problem as long as you provide good
water conditions and a few good hiding places to make them feel
more secure in their surroundings. You are also better keeping at
least 6 of this species as they are never very happy kept as individuals.
A planted tank can also enhance their well being.
This catfish is not the easiest to spawn but
you can see a full report on the breeding of the Emerald
catfish on the breeding section of the
ScotCat articles page.
The usual fare for adult Corydoras, a good
quality flake food, tablet food, frozen bloodworm, grindal worm
and whiteworm used sparingly.
Burgess, Warren E. Dr.; Colored
Atlas of Miniature Catfish.
A sling, (a reference to the structure of the barbels).
splendens: Splendid; bright or glittering.
Baench; Aquarium Atlas 1.
Sterba Gunther; Freshwater Fishes of the World
Allan James @
coeruleus, Brochis dipterus, Callichthys splendens, Chaenothorax
bicarinatus, Chaenothorax semiscutatus.
Peru, Upper Amazon near Iquitos, Rio Ambyiacu, Rio Orosa.
Ecuador, Rio Napo.
| 6.5 - 7.0
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