ne look at the photograph of
this species and you will realise that this is, or
used to be, Hoplosternum pectorale. The above
has been moved into a new genus along with Hoplosternum
thoracatum (now Megalechis
staying put. The Brazilian ichthyologist Roberto E.
Reis completely revised this family in 1996 and erected
a new genus for pectorale. There are also three
other newly described species in this new genus being
beni and L.
all other genera of subfamily Callichthyinae, the
species of Lepthoplosternum are absent in the
northern portion of the South American continent,
north of the Rio Amazonas. The species are found in
the upper Rio Amazonas in Peru (L. altamazonicum),
middle Rio Madeira (L. beni), Rio Paraguay
(L. pectorale), and in the laguna dos Patos
drainage (L. tordilho) in southern Brazil (Roberto
Now to get away from the scientific bit L. pectorale
is a dwarf species (8.5cm.) and as such is a good
addition to any community tank which doesn't house
any aggressive species. It is a hardy fish and the
only time that you will get any hint of aggression
from this species is from the males when they come
into breeding condition, and can get quite territorial.
is quite a drab species having a brown body colouration
with darker spots scattered over the body. The
males can be identified as having a thicker leading
ray to the pectoral fins and the rest of the fin can
be a milky opaque colour while the females is clear.
You can identify this species from M. thoracata
and H. littorale by the shape of its caudal
fin, it being slightly rounded while M.thoracata
is truncate (square) and H.littorale's caudal
fin is forked.
River basin. Type locality: Monte
Sociedad, Paraguayan Chaco.
Two pairs of well developed
barbels and apair of thread-like processes on the
upper jaw and apair of fleshy flaps on the lower.
Body comparatively narrow (cleithral width 26.3-28.6%
of SL); 25-26 scutes in upper lateral series; 22-23
Body dark brown with small
blackish spots. Fin rays dark brown, those in the
caudal with black spots. On some specimens lighter
bands are visible on the head.
Care & Compatibility
They can be quite easily housed
in your planted community tank as they don't grow
as large as thoracata or littorale and
don't show any aggressive tendencies. Will attempt
to spawn in a community setup, but if they do it would
be a good idea to move the pair to their own breeding
tank to make sure that the spawning is successful,
in that the fry will survive the attentions of the
rest of the tank inmates. Being from the southern
parts of the South American continent it prefers tempertures
to be on the lower side of tropical i.e: under 75°f.
This is a bubble-nester,
where the female deposits her eggs in floating plant
material or a floating polystyrene lid. To read a
report on breeding this species you can go to the
section for an indepth look at "how to do it".
As with most "Hoplo's"
a good varied diet of frozen, live and a good quality
flake food. It will eat most things given and of course
keep up the water changes.
Lepthoplosternum:A thin sternum, (breast). pectorale: Referring to
the thicker pectoral fins in adult male fish.
H.A. and R. Riehl 1985
Aquarien atlas. Band 2. Mergus, Verlag für Natur-
und Heimtierkunde GmbH, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. Ferraris, C.J. Jr.,
2007. Checklist of catfishes, recent and fossil (Osteichthyes:
Siluriformes), and catalogue of siluriform primary types.
Zootaxa 1418:1-628. Reis, Roberto E.; Kaefer, Cíntia C.
(2005). Armbruster, J. W. (ed.). "Two
New Species of the Neotropical Catfish Genus Lepthoplosternum
(Ostariophysi: Siluriformes: Callichthyidae)".
Copeia. 2005 (4): 724–731.