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Horabagrus nigricollaris   Pethiyagoda & Kottelat, 1994


he first factsheet of 2007 centers on a relatively new member of the Bagridae family and to me one of the most secretive, the "Black Collared Catfish", Horabagrus nigricollaris.

Horabagrus nigricollaris

I have kept plenty of catfish that like to hide away for weeks and even months on end and this species certainly fits in with the latter. It is kept in the fishhouse so maybe you may see it more in a tank situated in your living room.

There are only two species in this genus, the other being Horabagrus brachysoma,
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 whereasH. 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 brachysoma

Horabagrus brachysoma
similar apart from colouration.

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.

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 species.

Update: 2009: The Horabagrus genera including H.brachysoma and H.nigricollaris were originally placed in the Bagridae family but 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 different.

As bagrids go this is quite a pretty species and along with its near cousin, H. brachsoma, should make an interesting addition to your catfish collection.


Characteristics
D. 1, 5; P. 1,8; V. i, 5; A. iii, 23-26; C. 8+9=17. Median longitudinal groove on head in a single oval fontanel anteriorly narrow not extending posteriorly beyond orbit. Occipital process distinct, extending to basal bone of dorsal fin. Four pairs of barbels; maxillary extending well beyond base of pectoral fin, nasals almost to base of occipital process, outer mandibular to base of pectoral fin, inner pair much shorter not reaching pectoral fin base. Branchiostegal rays 10. Rayed dorsal fin inserted above anterior half of pectoral fin, spine sharp, with 12-16 serrations along the posterior margin. Adipose dorsal fin short, well separated from caudal fin. Pectoral fin not reaching pelvics, spine with 9 to 11 serrations along outer edge and 13-17 along inner edge. Pelvic fin reaching anal fin origin. Anal fin long not reaching caudal fin base. Least height of caudal peduncle 1.0 in its length. Caudal fin forked, lobes rounded and sub-equal.

Colour
Head and body grey/brown, darker dorsally. Belly white. A black saddle shaped band edged in white extends from the humeral region of each side over the back. Caudal fin light yellow edged in black. Caudal base black. Pectoral and ventral fins light grey. Dorsal hyaline, dark at base. Anal and caudal fin edged in black.

Compatibility
Will do well in a larger community tank with other bagrids such as Pseudomystus siamensis but will be predatory on smaller fishes that are even at the 2inch(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..

Breeding
Not reported.

Sexual differences
Not reported.

Feeding
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 greedingly.

Glossary of Terms
Occipital process: A median bone on the upper surface of the back of the head; pertaining to the occiput.
Branchiostegal: Slender bones which support the gill membranes.

Etymology
Horabagrus: Taken from Mr. S.L.Hora, director of Zoological Survey of India + Greek, pagros = a fish, Dentex sp.
nigricollaris: Black collar.

References
Jayaram; K.C., Catfishes of India, Narendera Publishing House 2006, p 144-145.

Photo Credits

Top picture:       Chris Ralph.

Bottom picture:
 Allan James @ ScotCat

Factsheet 127

Synonyms:
None
Common Name:
Black Collared Catfish
Family:
Bagridaem
Subfamily:
Horabagrinae
Distribution:
Asia: India India, Kerala, Chalakudy River, 26 km upstream of Chalakudy town, near Vettilappara.
Size: 
30cm. SL (12ins)
Temp:
23-25°C (73-77°F)    
pH.:
6.5 -7.2.
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                                                                                                                                        Factsheet 127 = updated April 27, 2015 , © ScotCat 1997-2015 Go to Top