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Glyptothorax buchanani Smith, 1945

his month (September 2011) we welcome back for a second month, Adrian Taylor, BAP secretary of the
Catfish Study Group and also webmaster of Asiancatfish.com. This month he takes a look at a small Sisorid catfish Glyptothorax buchanani.




Glyptothorax buchanani is a small to medium sized hillstream catfish growing no more than 75mm SL from Metum, which is a small swift affluent of the Mechem in Northern Thailand. It was first described by Smith in 1945 and is like all Glyptothorax species in having a '‘thoracic adhesive apparatus’, which consists of many corrugated folds of skin, on the ventral surface behind the mouth. Smith noted at the time that this adhesive apparatus was roughly quadrangular with an acute point anteriorly, and that unlike the Glyptothorax species previously described, Glyptothorax buchanani differed in the combination of a short body, a moderately elongate caudal peduncle and with the origin of the ventral fins being under the last ray of the dorsal fin.


Care of Glyptothorax buchanani is as the norm for hillstream catfishes. An aquarium having a pH of between 6 and 7 a temperature range between 20ºc and 25ºc, a sand substrate, with a scattering of smooth rounded stones, pebbles and small pieces of bogwood; heavily filtered as to create a one directional flow of water as is possible, along with a strong water changing regime, would go towards making an ideal habitat for these attractive but unusual hillstream catfish.


Smith named this attractive catfish in honour of A. R. Buchanan of the Borneo Company Ltd, who had collected for scientific purposes many fishes of the Mechem river and its tributaries, during the months of June, July, October and November of 1935, something that no one had done before.




Thoracic adhesive apparatus, which consist of many corrugated folds of skin, on the ventral surface behind the mouth. Roughly quadrangular with an acute point anteriorly. short body, a moderately elongate caudal peduncle and with the origin of the ventral fins being under the last ray of the dorsal fin.


Pretty body colour of dusky brown head region with three dark brown patches on the dorsal and into the body, adipose fin with dark brown patch leading into the body, caudal peduncle with dark brown patch leading to half way into the caudal on both lobes. Brown blotches near the tip on both caudal lobes. Gold patch on the nape.

Other Asian tank mates such Rasboras, danios, devario's and puntius species.

No reports

Sexual Diferences

No reports of sexual differences. Although it is believed that the females are more rotund ventrically than the males when viewed from above.



Live foods such as white worms, small earthworms and aquatic insect larvae like bloodworms and similar chironomids, should make up the majority of their weekly diet, as Glyptothorax buchanani tends not to accept commercially prepared feeds such as pellets and tablets; although they will eat frozen food such as bloodworms.

Glyptothorax: With a carved breast-plate.
buchanani : This sp. of Glyptothorax was named in honour of A. R. Buchanan, of the Borneo Co.Ltd., who in 1935, made a small but valuable collection of fishes from certain rivers of  N.Thailand, from which collections had not previously been made.


Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.

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

Caudal fin: The paired fins after head and before anal fin.
Ventral fin: The paired fins, between the pectorals and the anal fins.
Caudal peduncle: The area between the dorsal fin and the tail.
Thoracic: Pertaining to the chest area.

Photo Credits


© Nonn Panitvong @ Siamensis.org

Factsheet 183


Common Name:
Asia: Chao Phraya basin, Thailand.
7.0cm. (2¾ins)
20-24°c (67-75°f.)  
6.5 - 7.5.
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                                                                                                                                  Factsheet 183 = updated October 31, 2015 , © ScotCat 1997-2018 Go to Top