ne 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.
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.
similar apart from colouration and sun spot placement.
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
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.
Horabagrusbrachysoma has of course
now been moved into a new family, Horabagridae,
alongside H. nigricollaris.
Lake and estuaries of Kerala and southwestern Karnataka,
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.
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
Care & Compatibility
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 do
well in a larger community tank with other bagrids
such as Pseudomystus
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 size.
Not reported but females would
probably be more rotund especially in the breeding season.
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.
fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the
Fontanel:The space(s) between
the bones on top of the skull covered by skin.
Mandibular barbels: Pertaining to the lower
jaw (mandibular barbels).
to the upper jaw (maxillary barbels). Nasal Barbels:On
top of the head, by the nostrils (nasal barbels).
A median bone on the upper surface of the back of the
head; pertaining to the occiput. Pectoral fin:The
paired fins just behind the head. Villiform: Elongated cardiform teeth.
Taken from Mr. S.L.Hora,
director of Zoological Survey of India + Greek, pagros
= a fish, Dentex sp.
C.J. Jr., 2007.
Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types.
Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Jayaram; K.C.,
Catfishes of India, Narendera
Publishing House 2006, p 144-145. ScotCat Factsheet.
no.127. January 2007. Horabagrus