n the occasion of our
201st factsheet on ScotCat, eminent catfish author
and enthusiast, Steven Granthas returned
to pen a factsheet on one of the more overlooked catfish
families. namely the South American family Trichomycteridae,
which are commonly known as Parasitic Cats or by the
local indigenous populations as "candiru".
Over to Steve for his summary on the identification
of Ituglanis amazonicus.
was described from “Cudajas, Brazil”,
which could be Codajás, a municipality on the
Amazon River. There is also a lake called Lago Badajós
which used to be referred to as Lago Cudajas, and
this is northwest of the municipality.
The specimen pictured
here was one of a number that were imported from Rio
Amazonas in Peru. The colour is a little faded due
to it being photographed freshly imported. Galvis
et al (2006), Mol (2012) and Le Bail, Keith and Planquette
(2000) report it from Colombia (Amazon River), and
Suriname and French Guyana respectively.
thought they were I. laticeps (Kner, 1863)
but after checking the description it states there
were no markings on the fins of the type specimens.
Datavo (2013, personal communication) indicated that
the specimen has the right number of pectoral fin
rays ( I + 5) for I. amazonicus and despite
it not matching the colour and pattern given for that
species in Datavo and Landim (2005), this specimen
exhibits one of a variation of patterns in I.
amazonicus. Some I. amazonicus have
a very faded pattern with very few or small spots
but the two patterns can be found within one population
of the same species. Furthermore adult I. laticeps
have the pattern shown here and it may be a junior
synonym of I. amazonicus.
dorsal and caudal view
These are sometimes
sold or seen as I. metae but that species
has a more rounded caudal fin (albeit that us not
always a reliable indicator as the fin can often be
damaged) and also has one more pectoral fin ray (I
+ 6). I. guayaberensis (Dahl, 1960) also
has a similar pattern but that species has even more
pectoral fin rays (I + 8). Both I. metae
and I. guayaberensis come from further north,
in the Orinoco system in Colombia.
inclusion in the family commonly called ‘parasitic
catfish’ so far reports of behaviour in aquariums
are that they are peaceful towards other fish, and
usually to each other. However, there has been one
report of some specimens being attacked and ostracised
from the group, with bite marks on the body and fins.
They like to hide
during the daylight hours so something like a cave,
thick plants, or wool mops should be provided.
They will sometimes
feed in daylight hours but to make sure they are getting
adequately fed, you should add some food after lights
out. They will eat bloodworm, tubifex, and earthworms
chopped into small pieces.
South America:Amazon River basin and rivers of French Guiana
and Surinam: Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Surinam and Guyana.
Long, cylindrical body. Three
pairs of barbels. Pectoral fin with I + 5 rays. Light
greyish to light orange / brown base colour with greenish
to brown spots of different sizes and distribution.
Light greyish to light orange
/ brown base colour with greenish to brown spots
of different sizes and distribution. Fins speckled
with same colour.
Care & Compatibility
Generally peaceful but can
sometimes fight amongst each other.
As yet unknown.
There are no proven
external sexual differences, but females are probably
more robust in the body.
Readily accepts all manner
of live/frozen foods.
structure on the heads of most catfish. Caudalfin: The
Pectoral fin: The paired fins just behind
Synonym: Different name for the same fish.
itys, ityos = circle in Greek; glanis = a fish that
can eat the bait without touching the hook; a catfish
in Greek. amazonicus: From the Amazon
G., 1960. Nematognathous
fishes collected during the Macarena Expedition 1959.
Part I. Novedades Colombianas v. 1 (no. 5): 302-317. Datovo, A. and
M. I. Landim, 2005. Ituglanis macunaima,
a new catfish from rio Araguaia basin, Brazil (Siluriformes,
Trichomycteridae). Neotropical Ichthyology v. 3 (no.
4): 455-464. Eigenmann, C.
H., 1917. Descriptions of sixteen new species
of Pygidiidae. Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society v. 56: 690-703. Eschmeyer, W.
N. (ed). Catalog of Fishes. California Academy
of Sciences. (http://research.calacademy.org/research/ichthyology/catalog/fishcatmain.asp).
Electronic version accessed 24 February 2013. Galvis, G.
et al, 2006. Peces del medio Amazonas – Region
de Leticia. 1-546. Kner, R. and
F. Steindachner, 1864. Neue Gattungen und
Arten von Fischen aus Central-Amerika; gesammelt von
Prof. Moritz Wagner. Abhandlungen der Bayerische Akademie
der Wissenschaften, Mathematisch-Physikalische Classe,
München. v. 10 (1. abth.): 1-61, Pls. 1-6. Le Bail, P.-Y. , P. Keith and P. Planquette,
2000. Atlas des poissons d'eau douce de Guyane. Tome
2 - fascicule II. Siluriformes. 1-307. Mol, J.H.A.,
2012. The Freshwater Fishes of Suriname. 1-889. Morris, P.J.,
M.H. Sabaj, and C. Hoeflich. 2004. All Catfish
Project Support Site. [WWW image database] URL https://acsi.acnatsci.org. Steindachner,
F., 1882. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der
Flussfische Südamerikas. IV. [With 3 subtitles.].
Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften
in Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe.
v. 46 (1 Abth.) (in 1883): 1-44, Pls. 1-7.