ornatus Boulenger, 1902
ur factsheet this month (May 2006) centers
on a former member of the Bagridae family and one of the nicest
looking "Bagrids" around as its common and specific
name entails "The Ornate Bagrid". The genus Chrysichthys
was split off from Bagridae by Mo in 1991 along with
all of the African Bagrids bar one and is now housed in the
Claroteidae family. You can find out more in the Ichthyology
articles section titled, The
This is not one of your "Tankbusters"
as it will grow only to 9ins (22.5cm) standard length (SL) but
in saying that, this is a predator when adult in the aquarium,
so you will need to account for this when purchasing this species.
It has often been confused
with a South American "Pim" from the Heptapteridae
family, Goeldiella eques, the "Fox Face
Pimelodella". The difference of course is that the African
species, C. ornatus, has an extra pair of barbels in
having nasal barbels, a shorter adipose fin and a different
head shape. (see below)
Goeldiella eques= larger
Chrysichthys ornatus = nasal barbels
Goeldiella eques = no nasal barbels
Dorsal: 1/6; Anal: 11-13, 6-8 branched.
Body elongate, anteriorly hardly compressed, posteriorly strongly
so. Dorsal and anal fins short. Dorsal and pectoral fins with
stout spines. Ventral fins inserted behind the dorsal. Adipose
fin present. 4 pairs barbels ( 1 pair nasal, 1 maxillary, 2 mandibular).
Jaws with teeth arranged in bands. Pallete toothed.
Could be used in a fishhouse environment as a feeder for an
overrun of Livebearer fry but would be quite happy on commercial
foods. Quite tolerant of water parameters but very shy and would
need the usual good husbandry and tank regime of weekly water
changes and the keeping of the filtration up to the mark.
This bagrid is not usually available in aquatic outlets so would
be quite a find if you could spot any on your "Fish hunting"
Alternation of large, irregular, dark brown
to black blotches and pale, yellowish to brownish blotches, with
further small dark spots among them. Belly dirty white. Fins pale
with irregular dark spots; each lobe of the caudal with a blurred
dark longitudinal band.
Not to be trusted with smaller tankmates.
Would do better with larger African Tetras or Cichlids. Give it
a choice of hiding places to make it feel more comfortable in
its surroundings as it can be nocturnal.
|Not recorded but I would
surmise that females would be heavier when in breeding condition.
Frozen shrimp and mussels. Frozen bloodworm
pellets and tablet food.
Chrysos = gold; ichthys = fish.
ornatus : Ornate; decorated.
length (SL) : Standard
length as measured from the snout to the caudal peduncle.
Nasal barbels: Barbels on top of the head,
by the nostrils.
Nocturnal: Active at night.
and R. Riehl 1985
Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur- und
Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p.
Sands, David: Catfishes of The World, Vol.5 Bagridae
and Others. p. 77.
Sterba, Günther Dr.; 1 Sterba's freshwater
fishes of the world.
Goeldiella eques (1): Robin
Goeldiella eques (2): ©