hen I first came into the fishkeeping hobby more years ago than
I care to remember my first 'wow' factor was discovering catfish
and one of my first acquisitions was a much loved Leiocassis,
namely stenomus which as you know is of course now Pseudomystus.
There is not a lot left now in the
genera (12 species) but the first factsheet
of 2017 celebrates this genus and our factsheet of the month,
the not often seen Leiocassis poecilopterus. Pseudomystus
was actually a subgenus of Leiocassis which K.C.Jayaram
had placed stenomus in in 1968, but is now of course a
full genus name.
Similar looking to L.
micropogon. The main differences are that
in L. poecilopterus the posterior tip of the supraoccipital
process reaches the predorsal (nuchal) plate,
whereas in L.
micropogon it does not. This method of
identification is however made problematic for us
aquarists with the recent description of L.
aculeatus which is similar to both species. In
L. aculeatus the supraoccipital process also
meets the nuchal plate (as in L. poecilopterus),
but L. aculeatus has a relatively longer
adipose fin, dorsal fin spine, and pectoral
fin spines than L. poecilopterus. In addition,
there are currently 6 or 7 species that have been
tentatively deemed as synonyms of either L. poecilopterus
or L. micropogon.
Also similar is
and perhaps the easiest way to tell
them apart is that L. poecilopterus lacks
the thin pale collar band, the bar in the caudal is nearer
the outer margin, and the anal fin is barred. In the online
Catalog of Fishes from the California Academy of Sciences
this species is noted as Leiocassis poeciloptera.
This species inhabits small streams
with gravel bottoms of the Kolok River. It lives under the
rock crevices in 1.5-2.0 m depth.
From Bleeker, P., The
Fishes of the Indian Archipelago described and elucidated.
Volume 1 Silur. Batavia Typus Lange Et Co. 1858.
Head slightly compressed. Mouth small,
subterminal position. Barbels short, maxillary barbel reaching
only behind eye, maxillary barbel length 33.8-44.9 %HL, nasal
barbel length 14.4-16.8 %HL, outer mandibulary barbel length 21.6-31.6
%HL and inner mandibulary barbel length 14.8-16.1 %HL. Adipose
fin origin slightly anterior to anal fin origin. Depressed dorsal
fin reaching adipose fin. Caudal fin forked; tip of upper and
lower lobe pointed. Posterior border of anal fin slightly round.
Head depth at eye 38.0-39.8 %HL, head width at eye 47.6-50.0 %HL.
Snout produced, tip of snout pointed when look from below head,
snout length 36.6-36.7 %HL.
Colour of body darkish or deep brown-reddish,
with broad, transverse, irregular bands, deeply dark, the 1st band
nucho-opercular, the 2nd dorso-ventral, the 3rd adipose-anal, the
4th caudal. The bands are crossed along the lateral line by a longitudinal,
deep brown stripe. Fins deep brown-reddish, blackish-dark, with
two broad blackish-dark double bands; iris blue.
Can only be kept with
the same or larger species as this bagrid, common with many
from this family, can eat smaller fish. Keep either 3-5
specimens in a large tank with plants to the background.
Substrate should be sand and provide hiding places with
Can be kept in a community tank but would
watch if housing an adult with smaller Characins or Livebearers
as they could be picked of at night when it starts cruising the
tank. They can also nip the fins
of larger species, so keep well fed with a feeding after lights
out to curb this aggression.
Not reported, but
they are oviparous, distinct pairing possibly like other members
of the same family.
Feeds on aquatic insects and small crustaceans
in its narural habitat. A wide variety of foods can be given in
the aquarium as this species is not fussy as long as it is fed,
preferably after lights out. If you know where it hides out during
the day you can drop tablet food, frozen food etc.into its resting
place underneath stones/slates or bogwood.
process: Unpaired bone at the back of the
skull, usually with a crest..
Adipose fin: Fleshy finlike projection
without rays, behind the rayed dorsal fin.
Nuchal: Area between
the skull and dorsal fin..
Anal fin: The median, unpaired, ventrally
located fin that lies behind the anus, usually on the posterior
half of the fish.
Caudal: The tail.
Synonym: Different name for the same fish.
poecilopterus: With mottled or
Ng, H.H. & R. K. Hadiaty, 2005
Two new bagrid catfishes (Teleostei: Bagridae) from
Alas River drainage, northern Sumatra. Ichthyological Exploration
of Freshwaters, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp 83- 92, 10 figs.,
Grant, Steven; pers. comm. Sept.2005.
Ferraris, C.J. Jr., 2007. Checklist of catfishes,
recent and fossil (Osteichthyes: Siluriformes), and catalogue
of siluriform primary types. Zootaxa 1418:1-628.
Saenjundaeng, Pasakorn; and Vidthayanon, Chavalit;
First Record of the Bumblebee Catfish, Leiocassis poecilopterus
(Valenciennes, 1840) from Thailand. The Natural History Journal
of Chulalongkorn University 5(1): 17-19, May 2005 ©2005 by
Bleeker, P., The Fishes of the Indian Archipelago
described and elucidated. Volume 1 Silur. Batavia Typus Lange
Et Co. 1858.
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