his genera of the Auchenipteridae family
contains four species, two which have recently been described
in this century (2003 and 2006) and two which have been around
since there description in 1917 and 1984 but not seen very often
in the hobby but popular with catfish aficionados when purchased.
The four mentioned are our
factsheet of the month (March 2017)
Entomocorus gameroi Mago-Leccia,
1917, Entomocorus melaphareus
Akama & Ferraris, 2003 and Entomocorus radiosus
Reis & Borges, 2006.
widely distributed in lowland cis-Andean South America.
Entomocorus benjamini is found in the Madeira River,
E. gameroi occurs in the Orinoco River, E.
melaphareus is from the lower Amazon River, and a previously
undescribed species, E. radiosus, inhabits the
upper Paraguay River. Entomocorus is diagnosed
based on the shared presence of eight synapomorphies.
related to the genera Auchenipterus, Centromochlus, and
Trachycorystes. The common name of E. gameroi
relates to the markings on the caudal fin reminiscent of the Penguin
Tetra, Thayeria boehlkei although the black band occurs
in the top half of the caudal fin in E. gameroi.
The top of the head is hard, reticulated
or pitted, and the posterior margin of the occipital is bordered
with a deep groove. The maxillary barbels are wiry at the base,
fitted into a groove at the lower margin of the large eye, and
extend to the tips of the ventral fins or to the the origin of
the anal fin. E. gameroi has a broad, nearly horizontal
stripe of dark pigmentation that extends from the base to the
tip of the upper lobe of the caudal fin. In addition, the lateral
surfaces of the body of E. melaphaereus and E. benjamini
has little, if any dark pigmentation, whereas E. gameroi
sometimes has irregular blotches of dark pigmentation and, often
a dark midlateral stripe.
Males develop increased dark pigment along
the lateral line and broadening of the band in the lower lobe of
the caudal fin (see Sexual Differences below).
Provide sand or smooth
gravel as a substrate, driftwood and plants for hiding places.
Can be found sleeping on its side during the day in plant
coverage or on the substrate given the sometimes common
name of "Sleeping Catfish".
Can be kept with most fish that are not
too small as this family will predate on fry and small fishes
at night although generally a peaceful species. Better to keep
in a small group which will make them happier in an aquarium set-up.
In its natural habitat they spawn in July
and August which is the period of maximal annual flooding.
The dorsal fin spine
of the male becomes longer and curves anteriorly slightly
in the middle and distal part. The serrations become irregular
and new ones appear at the posterior edge.
The pectoral spines of the male become
excessively elongate, almost twice their former length,
and become broader. In the anal fin of the male there is
a reduction of the length of the base; the first three fusing
into a plate-like structure with strong surfaces for muscle
attachment; and the margin of the fin becomes concave changing
from convex in normal males). The second ray of the males
left pectoral fin develops a kind of hook, and the second
ray of the females right pectoral fin develops some serrations.
The bony part part of the maxillary barbels of the male,
normally almost half their length, become excessively enlarged.
These barbels become transformed into two "cachos"
giving the male a distinctive aspect. A pseudopenis is developed;
it is short, made up of soft tissue, and positionally separated
from the anal (not functionally). In other auchenipterterids
it can be very large.
Not a fussy eater. Mosquito larvae, artemia,
flakefood, tablet and pellet foods. Inactive during the day so
would need feeding at night but as
aquarists know this family will find food that has been left during
A median bone on the upper surface of the back of the head;
pertaining to the occiput.
Dorsal fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on
top of the body.
Caudal: The tail.
The paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins.
Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish.
Maxillary: Pertaining to the upper jaw.
Pectoral fin: The
paired fins just behind the head.
Greek; entome, meaning notch, and kore, meaning pupil; in
reference to the deep groove at the lower margin of the
eye in which the maxillary barbels fit into.
1989 An atlas of freshwater and marine catfishes. A preliminary
survey of the Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune
City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p.
Yann Fulliquet (pers.comm)
Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl, 1991. Aquarien atlas.
Bd. 3. Melle: Mergus, Verlag für Natur-und Heimtierkunde,
Germany. 1104 p.
Reis, R.E. and T.A.K. Borges, 2006. The South
American catfish genus Entomocorus (Ostariophysi: Siluriformes:
Auchenipteridae), with the description of a new species from the
Paraguay River Basin. Copeia 2006(3):412-422.
© Michael Kirkham