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 (see update at bottom of Factsheet).
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.
splendens - just captured
They have a nice
bronze/green body colouration 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.
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.
(2020): Brochis was synonymised
with Corydoras by Britto in 2003 but in time
there will be a revision which will resurrect
Brochis (Cope, 1871) to full genera again so
in the meantime we are sticking with Brochis
as there is marked differences with the both genera.
Brochis is included in Lineage 8 (sub-clade
1) with the "intermediate long-snouts" with
Upper Amazon near Iquitos, Rio Ambyiacu, Rio Orosa.
Ecuador, Rio Napo.
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 slightly pointed.
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.
Care & Compatibility
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.
A sling, (a reference to the structure of the barbels). splendens:Splendid; bright or glittering.
Aquarium Atlas 1. Burgess, Warren E. Dr.;Colored
Atlas of Miniature Catfish. Sterba Gunther;Freshwater Fishes of
the World no 1.
If you would like to contribute to the monthly
factsheets with an article, information or photos, please e-mail
me. You will of course be credited for your work.
If you would like to donate any denomination
of money to the site just click the above link button. All proceeds
will go to running the site and hopefully to keep it going for a few