month it is a case of mistaken identity from the Auchenipteridae
family and two different genera. There is a species
which is very much like Centromochlus musaicus
from further south in the lower Rio Nhamundá,
in the western Pará, Brazil, Centromochlus
orca, previously known
in the hobby as Tatia sp. "Ninja".
The main differences is that Centromochlus musaicus
does not have a white spot/blotch underneath the dorsal
fin and has a different pattern on the caudal fin
from this species. You can see these subtle differences
in the images below.
Listed in Soares
et al, 2008 and some other publications as Centromochlus
musaica, but the former as incertae sedis
(of uncertain placement and signifies a taxonomic
group difficult to place in the larger taxonomic scheme).
Fishbase and Catalog of Fishes follows Ferraris, C.J.
Jr. 2003 & 2007 and places it in the Tatia
genus as Tatia musaica. Sometimes also named
as Tatia musaicus.
dubious position of C. musaicus within available
genera of Centromochlinae, a reappraisal of phylogenetic
relationships within the subfamily is in preparation
(LMSS). Based on this ongoing study of centromochlin
catfishes, there is some evidence that C. musaicus
and C. orca are sister species in a more
inclusive Centromochlus clade. In this paper (Sarmento-Soares
et al) retains T. musaica (C. musaicus)
in Tatia to avoid confusion, but consider
Tatia to be a paraphyletic assemblage.
Atabapo and Autana River
basins in upper Orinoco River drainage, Venezuela/Colombia.
The eyes of Centromochlus
are large with a skin over them and a few non catfish
aquarists tend to think that they have cloudy eye's
and it is a disease, but this is normal for the Auchenipteridae
family. The barbels are moderate in length reaching
to the end of the dorsal fin and they tend to bend
them upwards when looking for food on the water surface.
They can also tuck their barbels alongside their cheeks
making them nearly invisible. I tend to think that
there is a groove in this area where they can lay
their barbels in. They possess two pairs of barbels,
one pair of mandibular and one pair of maxillary.
Just recently (September 2019) a new paper was released
by Bárbara B. Calegariet.
al. whereas Centromochlus orca was reclassified
back to Tatia again.
South America: Atabapo
and Autana River basins in upper Orinoco River drainage,
Venezuela/Colombia. Type locality:
Río Atuana, Caño Cabeza de Manteco,
approximadamente a 12 kms debajo del raudel Pereza,
en el pidemonte del tepui Autana, Territorio Federal,
Amazonas, Venezuela, 4º47'N, 67º23'W.
Examination of material of
C. musaicus, including types, revealed that
it has features that fit both in Tatia, such
as an intermediate caudal peduncle depth, 7.7-12%
in SL, and a deeply notched hyomandibula; and Centromochlus,
such as elongate maxilla that extends into the maxillary
barbel, anterior nuchal plate absent and ventrolateral
process of infraorbital 1 forming the anterior border
of orbital rim.
Bold pattern of black with
three white markings on the belly. The colouration
of C. orca resembles that of C. musaicus
, leading to the misidentification of Amazonian specimens
as C. musaicus. The main differences
is that C. musaicus does not have a white
spot/blotch underneath the dorsal fin and has a different
pattern on the caudal fin from this species.
Care & Compatibility
Whatever the placement of this
small driftwood cat it would probably be best kept
in the same conditions as Duringlanis
perugiae(previously known as Centromochlus perugiae)
and would need a planted tank with the lighting not
too bright. Give them small pipes, and they do seem
to like to hide in the crevices of bogwood as well.
They appear to be happier if they can jam themselves
in with the use of their pectoral fins. Community
tanks are fine for this species although you may find
that they will predate on fry from other species,
but apart from that they come well recommended but
don't expect to see them too often.
being bred in the aquarium.
The anal fin is
the key to the sexual dimorphism of this genus, if
you think of the male and female of most livebearer
fish (Goodeidae family) and you will not be
too far away with this assumption. As you can see
above the female has a normal anal fin but the males
are modified into a copulatory organ with the first
and second ray thickened and longer, it is thought
that the male uses this to clasp the female during
the spawning embrace.
are nocturnal; Since they often hide during the daytime
during acclimatisation, one has to be careful that
they get enough food. However, they also appear during
the day for feeding. Feeding of frozen bloodworm which
they will come out of hiding to feed on, catfish tablets,
daphnia, white worm (sparingly) and any other small
Anal fin:The median, unpaired, ventrally located fin
that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish. 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. Odontodes: Hair - like stuctures
on the body. Papillae:A small
fleshy projection, plural papillae. Pectoral fins: The paired fins just
behind the head.
= sting; mochlus = lever, from ancient
Greek "lever arm", referring to the pectoral
spines which can be a locked by a special mechanism.
C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent
and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue
of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Grant, S., 2015. Four new subgenera of Centromochlus
Kner, 1858 with comments on the boundaries of some
related genera (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae).
Ichthyofile No 3. pp, 1-16.
Sarmento-Soares, Luisa Maria; Martins-Pinheiro,
Ronaldo Fernando A systematic revision of
Tatia (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae)
Neotropical Ichthyology, 6(3):495- 542, 2008. ScotCat
Factsheet no. 60.