his month (November 2023) we have collaborated with
Argentinean aquarist, naturalist and wildlife photographer
Enzo Edgardo Ferreyra on one of his native catfish
species, Hypostomus boulengeri. This species
is similar toHypostomus
southeastern Brazil but this species has larger spots
to the head. It is also similar to H.
formosae which has
the tip of the snout completely covered with small
plates vs. naked snout tip to H. boulengeri (see
This is one of the nicest representatives
of the Hypostomus genera showing the red/orange
fins when in good condition and dark spots to the
body and fins. The spots on the head are smaller.
Edgardo Ferreyra: The feeding regime carried
out was commercial food for omnivorous fish, some
pumpkin, they never accepted other types of vegetables,
and granulated food for carnivores. The aquarium I
have them in is 144L, I would take this as the ideal
size from then on, I have them with a lot of wood,
and with no plants because they uproot them all. They
are sociable as babies and somewhat territorial as
adults, I see disputes over hiding places and at feeding
times. The temperature I keep them in is between 26°C
in winter and above 29°C in summer.
I can only give you information about the environments
where I find the youngsters, they are shallow areas
in areas with a substrate of large and small stones,
they were hidden in the separations that are formed
between the rocks, during the day it is easy to capture
them with the hands. In the rivers they have a moderate
to high current.
boulengeri- ventral view
boulengeri - tip of snout is naked
tip of snout with small plates
In a paper written
in by Felipe Alonso, Guillermo Terán, Gastón
Aguilera, and Juan Marcos Mirande in 2016, and titled,
First record of Hypostomus boulengeri (Siluriformes:
Loricariidae) from Bermejo River basin. Abstract:
Hypostomus boulengeri (Eigenmann and Kennedy,
1903) is a poorly known species recorded from the
Paraguay and Paraná River basins. In this work
we report the occurrence of this species in the Bermejo
River basin for the first time, representing a distribution
range extension of more than 600 km.
The Bermejo River
Basin, in southern South America, extends over some
123,000 km2, originating in the Andes Mountains of
northwestern Argentina and southern Bolivia. The river,
which flows some 1,300 km, links two major geographic
features: the Andean Cordillera and the Paraguay-Paraná
Map of the Rio de la Plata Basin showing the
Paraná River and its major tributaries.
Type locality: Matto Grosso
or Asuncion, Paraguay.
The Río de la
Plata basin, more often called the River Plate
basin in scholarly writings, sometimes called
the Platine basin or Platine region, is the
area in South America that drains to the Río
de la Plata. The La Plata Basin comprises
almost all the southern part of Brazil, the
south-eastern part of Bolivia, a large part
of Uruguay, the whole of Paraguay, and an
extensive part of northern Argentina. It covers
about 3.6 million km2. In terms of geographical
extent, the basin is the fifth largest in
the world and second only to the Amazon Basin
in South America. The principal sub-basins
are those of the Paraná, Paraguay and
River basin, Argentina. Type locality:
Matto Grosso or Asuncion, Paraguay.
Dorsal fin with a spine and
seven rays. The anal fin has a spine and 3 to 5 rays,
while the adipose fin has a spine and a small membrane.
The pectoral fins has a large toothed spine and six
rays. The ventral fins each have a spine and five
rays. The gill opening is very narrow.
Overall ground colour of
body and fins grey/brown, lighter on ventral surface.
Dorsal surface of head, body, and fins entirely
covered by numerous dark patches, smaller and closer
on head and less clear in the caudal peduncle. Ventral
surface variable: with evident dark dots, subtle
dark dots or without dots.
Care & Compatibility
Will need a good sized aquarium of 5ft (150cm.) or
over due to their final adult size.As
this genus in the main are messy eaters, good water
quality and filtration would need to be adhered to.
They have been
known to lay their eggs in tubes or driftwood with
holes in it where they will lay up to 500 eggs. The
parents will then clean the hole or crevice before
the female lay's and there may be some aggression
on the part of the male during this process. The male
will then look after the eggs by fanning water over
them and cleaning them. The eggs will hatch in about
7 days or so and the male will protect them until
they are large enough to furrow on their own. In their
natural habitat they will lay eggs in burrows dug
into the banks of rivers.
Males grow larger
and have longer fins especially the pectoral and caudal
Will eat all manner of foods in the aquarium, vegetable,
tablet, pellet foods and good quality flake.
fin:The median, unpaired,
ventrally located fin that lies behind the anus, usually
on the posterior half of the fish.
Adipose fin:Fleshy finlike
projection without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Caudal fin:The tail. Dorsal
fin: The primary rayed fin(s) on top of the
The organs utilized to
obtain oxygen from the water. Pectoral
fins: The paired fins just behind the head. Ventral fins: The paired fins, between
the pectorals and the anal fins.
Hypo = underneath; stomus = mouth.(mouth
In honour of George Albert Boulenger, the Belgian
ichthyologist. Born in1858, he took over Guenthers
position as Director of the Ichthyological Department
at the British Museum during the 1880's. He died in
Alonso, Felipe &
Terán, Guillermo & Aguilera, Gastón
& Mirande, juan marcos. (2016).First record of Hypostomus boulengeri (Siluriformes:
Loricariidae) from Bermejo River basin. Revista
del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, Nueva
Serie. 18. 85-88. 10.22179/REVMACN.18.440.
Burgess, W.E., 1989. An atlas of freshwater
and marine catfishes. A preliminary survey of the
Siluriformes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune
City, New Jersey (USA). 784 p. Cardoso, Yamila & Brancolini, Florencia
& Paracampo, Ariel & Lizarralde, Marta &
Covain, Raphael & Montoya-Burgos, Juan.
(2016). Hypostomus formosae, a new catfish species
from the Paraguay River Basin with redescription
of H. boulengeri (Siluriformes: Loricariidae). Ichthyological
Exploration of Freshwaters. 27. 9. Ferraris,
C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes,
recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes),
and catalogue of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa
pers comm. 2023. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors.
2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, ( 11/2014 ). OAS
The Organization of American States. 2023. Seidel, I. 2008. Back to Nature
guide to L-catfishes, Ettlingen, Germany 208 p.