his Corydoras has been around for many years and is still
very popular, and when it pops up in auctions they can still fetch
a reasonable price. The main talking point about sterbai
is of course the pectoral fins, being the colour of orange, one
of a handful of Cory's with this trait, the ventral fins are also
this colour. In well marked specimens you can get an orange colouration
in the abdomen area.
Corydoras sterbai is sometimes confused
with Corydoras haraldshultzi the difference being that C.sterbai
on the left has for simplistic reasons a dark basic body colour
with white spots on the head and snout area, while C. haraldshultzi
on the right has it in reverse, a light body with dark spots/ reticulations.
Another Corydoras confused with sterbai is C.araguaiensis
but it has no orange colouration to the fins as you can see in the
To make matters even more complicated there
is an albino version bred in Singapore which first
made its appearance in 1998. You can even see an orange taint
in the pectoral and ventral fins in this variety. Only time will
tell if this will become as popular as the Corydoras aeneus
'albino' with aquarists. I have a feeling that it won't go down
too well with Corydoras enthusiasts! and of time of writing
(May 2002) it is still quite an expensive purchase.
The common version which we all know and love occurs in the Upper
Rio Guapore which straddles the border between Brazil and Bolivia.
Named In honour of Dr Günther Sterba who in my humble opinion
wrote some of the best books on the hobby in the late 60's and
early 70's, and which still hold up well to this day.
Corydoras sterbai is much like any
other species of the genus Corydoras, easy
to keep but will do better in a group as they are sociable animals
and do like their own company. They will also appreciate a bit
of water movement in the aquarium.
Update: In 2003 in Bolivia
there was a collection made by Joachim Knaack in the Río
Itenez which was very similar to our Factsheet of the Month subject.
You can access the information and image here.
Dorsal 1/7; Anal 1/5; Head is short and compact.
Body colour is dark grey with 7 to 8 bands
of spots leading from the front of dorsal down to the caudal peduncle.
White spots to head area from snout to leading ray of dorsal. Pectoral
and ventral fin spines are orange with rest of fins clear with black
This is akin to most of this genus, very peaceful,
and would be best housed with small to medium tankmates such as
Tetras, Rasboras and Danios or in a
species tank for breeding purposes.
Not too difficult, will breed as per any
Corydoras species giving a good diet and water conditions,
and water changes of a lower temperature to induce spawning. Two
males to one female or one pair. Setup could be a 18"x12"x12"
tank with sand or bare bottom with Java moss, Java fern and a
sponge filter, adding if you like a power filter for extra aeration
and circulation of the water all leading to a hopefully successful
Adults will take a variety of foods, good
quality flake food, tablets, frozen bloodworm and the occasional
feeding of whiteworm. Start of the fry, after using up their yolksac,
with microworm, brineshrimp and fry flake.
Cory = helmeted;
doras = leathery skin,(helmeted
In honour of Dr Günther Sterba.
Top 2 pictures: Helen
Bottom Picture/left: Allan James @
Bottom Picture/right: aquajapan