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Corydoras napoensis  Nijssen & Isbrücker, 1986  

n old favourite in the hobby for many years for our Cory buffs is our factsheet of the month for March 2015, C. napoensis. It is quite similar to C. nanus and also C. elegans. Males of C. napoensis usually have a black blotch to the dorsal fin and the females do not, as they sport a more or less clear dorsal fin, sometimes with a hint of a blotch. There are of course exceptions to this rule as this species is quite variable in colouration and markings. It is a member of the so called "elegans" group which include C. nanus and C. elegans along with around another 22 species. They all have this basic short and compacted head shape and sexual dimorphism, in most of these species this is the norm.



Corydoras napoensis = female


C. napoensis - female
If there is any work carried out on this group in the future there is a very good chance that the genus name would revert back to Gastrodermus Cope, 1878. The two images show the sexual dimophism in this species and the vast majority of the "elegans" group.



Corydoras napoensis = male


C. napoensis - male



Head: short and compact.

Light brown body colour. Dorsal fin in male with a black blotch, females more or less clear dorsal fin, sometimes with a hint of a blotch. Fins are colourless with sometimes a hint of yellow in good condition. Body pattern consists of three dark bands which extend from the head to the caudal peduncle. The head has a mottled pattern which extends over the top half of the body.

Aquarium Care
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.


Can be kept with a vast variety of peaceful fish but would suffer with large Cichlids.

Sexual dimorphism
Dorsal fin in male with a black blotch, females more or less clear dorsal fin, sometimes with a hint of a blotch. Males are usually more colourful.


Has been bred in the hobby and they spawn in the same Corydoras pattern which you can read about in the many articles in the Breeding Articles section here.


A good quality flake food and tablet food for adults with sporadic feedings of frozen or live food will keep your Corydoras in good health.


Corydoras: Cory = helmeted; doras = leathery skin,(helmeted Doras) cuirass.
napoensis: Named after Napo, one of the regions from which it was collected.

Glossary of Terms:

Dorsal: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body

Caudal peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin and the tail.

Dimorphism: The morphological variations of one species.



Seus, Werner: Corydoras, The most Popular armoured catfishes of South America.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.

Photo Credits
 © Allan James @ ScotCat
Factsheet 225

Common Name:
Corydoras sp "San Juan"
South America: Western Amazon River basin, eastern Ecuador and Peru. Type locality: Napo, Lagartococha, affluent septentrional du Rio Aguarico, entre l’embouchure de la rivière (0º39'S, 75º16'W) et le village de Garzacocha (0º28'S, 75º21'W), bassin du Rio Napo, Ecuador.
5.0cm (2ins)
23-25°C (73-77°F)
6.0. - 7.2.
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                                                                                                                                  Factsheet 225 = updated December 14, 2018 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top