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Centromochlus perugiae  Steindachner, 1882

his is one of the most striking members of what we call in the hobby, 'Driftwood Cats'. There are a few different body markings in this species and they have been arriving in the aquatic outlets in the U.K. now over the last year. (2001)

Tatia perugiae

'Driftwood Cats' being as they are, are very secretive and if you want to see your fish in a community setup these catfish are not for you, but in saying that they are inoffensive and as long as you haven't small fry in the aquarium you can keep them with medium sized fish. You can of course enjoy them at dusk when the lights are off in your tank and your room lights are dimmed. I have had success in bringing this species out when the tank light is on, how do I do that? with frozen bloodworm and it is a treat to see them circling around the bottom hoovering them up until they get so bloated they just sit motionless for what seems like ages, taking a rest to get their breath back!.

These little catfish inhabit large rivers where the water is swift, preferring littoral zones adjacent to the shoreline over hard, sandy bottoms devoid of vegetation.

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 won't 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.

Body naked and relatively short head. Surface of head and the nuchal region (except the orbits and the interorbital fontanel) are covered with bony plates.The nuchal plate extends to and beyond the base of the dorsal fin spine, and the horns of the nuchal plate are curved downward and outward. The eyes are moderately large and are covered with skin.

Whitish base colour with black irregular reticulated pattern. All fins clear.

Keeping this species is not too much of a problem as long as the water is kept clean and not too alkaline with a p.H.of between 6.5 and 7.0. They do like a planted aquarium where they like to hide during the day. They also make a good show fish if showing your fish at shows is your forte, as they usually deport well in a show tank.

Internal fertilisation with the eggs deposited 24-48 hours later. Also a report on Tatia creutzbergi, (Tatia gyrina)with them placing their adhesive eggs on the underside of wood with no broodcare after the event. A few members of the Auchenipteridae family have been spawned in the hobby with a successful breeding and raising of the young of Trachelyichthys decaradiatus by Dick Thompson, a former member of The Northern Area Catfish Group (now Catfish Study Group)

In its native habitat they feed on insects, mostly ants, beetles, and mayflies and in the aquarium they will eat anything given such as frozen bloodworm which they will come out of hiding to feed on, catfish tablets, daphnia, white worm (sparingly) and any other worm-like foods.

Centromochlus: From the Greek kenteo, meaning sting and mochlos, meaning lever or crowbar; in reference to the long spines.
perugiae: named after Albert Perugia, an Ichthyologist from Triest.

Riehl, Baensch. Aquarium Atlas Photo Index 1-5
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2002. FishBase.World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, 15 August 2002
Burgess, W.E., 1989. An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes: a preliminary survey of the Siluriformes.. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey.

Sarmento-Soares, Luisa Maria; Martins-Pinheiro, Ronaldo Fernando A systematic revision of  Tatia (Siluriformes: Auchenipteridae: Centromochlinae) Neotropical Ichthyology, 6(3):495- 542, 2008

Photo Credits
© Ian Fuller @CorydorasWorld
Factsheet 060

Tatia perugiae.
Common Name:
Perugia's Woodcat
Colombia  Colombia.
Ecuador Ecuador.
Peru Peru
7.5cm (3ins)
26-28c (79-83f )
6.5 - 7.5.
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                                                                                                        Factsheet 60 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top