n old favourite in the hobby and a species that has been bred
numerous times. Males have more colourful markings than the
females and also have three black bands in the dorsal fin.
The first image shows the male of the genus and the second shows
a pair with the male to the front.
There are a few different forms of this
species and one of them was described by Holly in 1940 as Corydoras
pestai. This is now a synonym of C. elegans but
there is a train of thought that this species (C. pestai)
may be valid and has been treated as so in Isbrücker (2001b:
232). The list of other imported species still to be described
In July 2000 I, along with other U. K.
catfish enthusiasts, travelled
to Peru and fished the the Amazon River tributaries including
the Orosa River. Corydoras elegans was the first species
that I netted in the Tunche Cano stream
and so this species holds a special place in my heart as the
excitement at catching wild Corydoras still lives with
me to this day. You can read the articles on this expedition
on ScotCat here.
Madre Selva Forest Preserve;
Tunche Cano stream, Peru
Wild caught specimens
The above images show one of the catchment
areas that we found C. elegans and also showing the
species 12 years later on in 2012. I did not manage to breed
this wild stock but they have proved to be very long living.
I did breed this species many years before which you can read
about here in this article.
Short and compact. Dorsal1/7; Anal fin;
1/6-7; 21-22 bony scutes in the upper lateral series, 20 in
Ground colour yellowish, upperside darker
approaching to pale ochre. Underside paler, white apart from the
lateral scutes. Upper surface of head marbled with grey- brown.
A dark, vague-edged, wedge-shaped band extends from the hinder
part of the head to the caudal peduncle, its anterior portion
passing through several blotches. Below this band is accompanied
along the flanks by a pale stripe which, in turn, has a row of
dark spots along its lower edge. Gill cover is a brilliant pale
blue. Fins grey. A mottled and spotted pattern exists in the head
area. Males are more ornately patterned and have also reticulated
bands on the dorsal fin, while the dorsal of the female is usually
This is akin to most of this genus, very
peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium sized
tankmates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species
tank for breeding purposes. Best to purchase 6 individuals or
more as they will be happier in a group.
Bred many times in the hobby and they spawn
in the same Corydoras pattern which you can read about
are more ornately patterned and have also reticulated
bands on the dorsal fin, while the dorsal of the female
is usually clear.
Readily accepts a mixed and varied diet
which includes granular foods, tablet food, frozen bloodworm
and good quality flake to name but a few.
Cory = helmeted; doras
= leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
elegans: Elegant, or nice.
1 sterba's freshwater
fishes of the world. t.f.h. 1966. 456p.
James, Allan; Breeding Corydoras elegans
Steindachner 1877, ScotCat article
Peru 2000 Fish List ScotCat article
peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin and
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Scutes: Bony covering.
First and second
Johnny Jensen @
Third and fourth images: © Allan