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.
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
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
Horabagrus brachysoma similar
apart from colouration.
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.
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.
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
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 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..
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.
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.
Taken from Mr.
S.L.Hora, director of Zoological Survey of India + Greek,
pagros = a fish, Dentex sp.
nigricollaris: Black collar.
Catfishes of India, Narendera
Publishing House 2006, p 144-145.
Top picture: Chris
Bottom picture: Allan