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Corydoras melanotaenia  Regan, 1912

ne of the nicest looking Cory's to grace the hobby even although it has been around for many years is this months chosen factsheet (April 2006) and it abounds in its common name of the "Green-Gold Corydoras". It is of course, Corydoras melanotaenia.


Corydoras melanotaenia


This species on first sight could be misconstrued as Corydoras aeneus but the longer overall body shape and the yellow/ochre fins tell them apart. They used to be a common sight in aquatic shops up and down the country but the last few years they have been very thin on the ground and as such should be snapped up if seen in your local LFS.

The green body colouration really abounds when they are in good condition and in breeding mode.

The original type locality of Tolimais in Colombia, Honda Province in the Río Magdalena basin, is doubtful as collectors have been unable to find this species there. However, collections are made from the Río Meta basin.




Typical Corydoras body shape with a short and compact head.

Upper half of body is metalic green, this colouration does not cover the ridge of the back which is a light yellow. A metallic green eye-mask covers both eyes. The supraoccipial has a light golden-orange colour.

This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful, and would be best housed with small to medium tank mates such as Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a species tank for breeding purposes.

Sexual differences
Males are more slender than the females and the ventral fins in the female are rounded whilst the males are pointed.


Not one of the easiest Cory's to breed but will spawn as per the genus. They will lay up to 150 eggs and the larvae will hatch after 5 days. Mark Bryson from Paisley, Scotland has been successful with this species, read his article here.

A good quality flake food and tablet food for adults with sparodic feedings of frozen or live food will keep your Corydoras in good health. Feeding the fry after they use up their yolk-sac with brine shrimp naupli, microworm and fry flake food. 

Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
melanotaenia : From the Greek melan = 'black' and the Latin taenia = ribbon, fillet , tapeworm.

Glossary of Terms:
Supraoccipial : Unpaired bone at the back at the back of the skull, usually with a crest.

Hans A Baensch and Dr Rudiger Riel, Baensch Aquarium Atlas 2
CorydorasWorld.com Fuller, A.M. Ian.
Seuss, Werner; Corydoras The most popular armoured catfishes of South America; Dähne Verlag; p.126.

Photo Credits

© Allan James @  ScotCat

Factsheet 118

Common Name:
Green-Gold Corydoras
Colombia Colombia: Meta River basin. Type locality: Honda, Río Meta system, Colombia.
 5.5cm ( 2¼ins) Male: 6.0cm ( 2½ins) Female:
22-26°C (71-79°F)   
6.0 -7.2.
up to 17°dGH
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                                                                                                   Factsheet 118 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top