one hundred factsheets ago on January 2007 we featured the "Black
Collared Catfish", Horabagrus
nigricollaris. We have now got
around to featuring its close cousin and the only other member
of this genus, the "Golden Red Tail Catfish" or if you
prefer the "Sun Catfish", Horabagrus brachysoma.
As stated there are only two species
in this genera, the other being Horabagrus
nigricollaris, and the differences between the two apart
from colouration (see image below) is that H. nigricollaris
has the spot behind the gills extending over the head to meet
the corresponding spot on the other side whereas H. brachysoma
has only the spot on both sides (a good identification guide).
There are also slight differences with the caudal and dorsal
fins. Colour in the tank can vary
from light to very dark depending on lighting and substrate.
Horabagrus nigricollaris similar
apart from colouration and Sun spot placement.
D. 1, 5; P. 1,8; V. i, 6; A. iii, 23-28; C.
17. Median longitudinal groove on head short, narrow as a single
fontanel not reaching base of occipital process. Occipital process
3.0 to 4.0 times longer than broad at base and reaching basal bone
of dorsal fin. Teeth villiform in bands on jaws and palate. Four
pairs of barbels; maxillary reaching pectoral fin base, nasals anterior
edge of opercle, outer mandibular pair opercle, inner shorter.
The Horabagrus genus has had a checkered history with
H. brachysoma named in 1864 by Günther as Pseudobagrus
brachysoma and placed in the Bagridae family. In 1955,
Day, while studying this family, created a new genus Horabagrus
and placed this only species (at that time) into it. In 1964,
Tilak in studying the osteology and weberian apparatus of the
Schilbidae family doubted the inclusion of Horabagrus
in the Bagridae family. Work carried out by JAYARAM suggested
that the Horabagrus were more closely related to the
Schilbidae family but could be given their own family, Horabagridae,
with some species taken out of the Schilbidae that are phylogenetically
Mo (1991) then suggested that this genus should be placed in
the Schilbidae family and a few authors have actually taken
this as they feel that there are a few similarities that place
them in this family. At the moment we at ScotCat have it in
Bagridae but I am sure that in the future there will be more
work done on this genus and a final destination for these two
As bagrids go this is quite a pretty species and along with
its near cousin, H. nigricollaris, should make an interesting
addition to your catfish collection.
Brownish black above and on sides above lateral
line, golden yellow beneath and underside white. A thick black shoulder
spot and a semi-lunar thick black ring at caudal base present.
Will do well in a larger community tank with
other bagrids such as Pseudomystus
but will be predatory on smaller fishes that are even at
the 2 inch (5cm) mark as they will charge into them at night and
stun them, then they will consume the injured fish, so house with
larger barbs and Characins such as Congo Tetra's that are over this
This species along
with H. nigricollaris are extremaly nocturnal and
would do better if the aquarium is not too brightly lit,
and you may see them if you feed at night.
Will feed mostly at darkness but if plenty
of cover is provided they will dart out and feed quickly. Worm and
tablet foods will all be taken greedily.
|Not reported but females
would probably be more rotund especially in the breeding season.
median bone on the upper surface of the back of the head;
pertaining to the occiput.
space(s) between the bones on top of the skull covered by
Dorsal fin: The
primary rayed fin(s) on top of the body
Pectoral fin: The
paired fins just behind the head.
Elongated cardiform teeth.
Maxillary barbels: Pertaining
to the upper jaw. (maxillary barbels)
Nasal Barbels: On
top of the head, by the nostrils. (nasal barbels)
Pertaining to the lower jaw. (mandibular barbels)
Taken from Mr.
S.L.Hora, director of Zoological Survey of India + Greek,
pagros = a fish, Dentex sp.
brachysoma: Black collar.
Catfishes of India, Narendera
Publishing House 2006, p 144-145.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr.,
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types.
no.127. January 2007. Horabagrus
Allan James @
|Macrones chryseus, Mystus
chryseus, Pseudobagrus brachysoma, Pseudobagrus chryseus
Red Tail Catfish, Sun Catfish
Lake and estuaries of Kerala and southwestern Karnataka, India.
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