morrowi Fowler, 1940
e concentrate this month (Oct. 2008) on
a not to common species from
the Auchenipteridae family and a close relative to its congener
which was our factsheet subject 3 years ago in January 2005.
In 1940, Fowler described a new species
from Peru, Liosomadorus morrowi, and placed it in the
Doradidae family even although it did not have the bony scutes
that this family possess, but it had the spiny humeral process
of this family.
In 1978 an article on Liosomadoras oncinus with illustrations
appeared in the TFH magazine by Martin Brittan and it alerted
the Ichthyologist, Mees, who subsequently published a paper on
oncinus. Mees noted that the fish in the article, which
was mooted as a Centromochlus species, looked very like
the original description which was discovered in Brazil by R.
H. Schomburgk in 1841. He obtained specimens from Brittan and
also the type specimen of our factsheet subject, L. morrowi
and concluded, incorrectly, that they were one and the same fish
and placed it in the Doradidae family. It was not until 1994 that
these two species were considered as separate and they were placed
in the Auchenipteridae family.
This species is the exact opposite of the beautifully marked oncinus,
and in the aquarium, just like its congener you may not see too
much of it as it can be crepuscular in nature and will need hiding
places to make it feel more secure and happy in its surroundings.
The authors Liosomadorus
Above is my Liosomadorus morrowi,
the Black Jaguar Catfish. I was given this fish by a friend who
had bought it as a Jaguar Cat and did not know what it was. You
may find the common name of the Black Jaguar Catfish misleading
from this picture, but this photo was taken on the show bench and
it had lost the dark markings that you will find when it is settled
in your tank set up.
Body short and compact with a compressed caudal
peduncle. Head, large and broad, its width at the clavicles greater
than its length. The long humeral extension has small spines and
the barbels are thin and filamentous without branches. Dorsal spine
has teeth on anterior and posterior edges. Pectoral spines have
outer and inner margins strongly denticulated. Adipose fin is the
same length as the anal fin, ventral fins short and positioned nearer
the anal fin than the pectoral fin base. Caudal fin emarginate.
Blackish/brown body with
gold lateral line interspersed with gold and black spots. Underneath
body, gold with black spotting which can extend into the head area.
Unpaired fins with black spots. Can
tend to change its body colour from dark to light according to the
Can be kept in a community tank but may eat
very small fish at night such as the fry of livebearers, but basically
a good addition to the larger tank set up. My speciman is kept in
a 48" x 18" x18" with a large Synodontis nigrita
and a Pike Cichlid, so it has plenty of room. I don't see it very
often, only If I am rearanging the tank layout. Can
be territorial with its own kind but you can get round this by providing
extra cover such as pipes and driftwood.
There are no known reported aquarium spawning's
of this catfish but can be sexed due to the thickening of the anterior
of the anal fin, as is the norm in this family, akin to the anal
fins of the males of the Goodiae family of livebearers.
Will take most prepared foods such as frozen
bloodworm, tablet and flake food. Better to feed at night after
lights out, but once settled in tank will forage for food in low
Finley, Lee; Catfish
Corner, The Jaguar Catfish, Tropical Fish Hobbyist; Aug.1997
From the Greek leios, meaning smooth; soma; meaning body and
Doras (a genus of doradid catfishes); in reference to the
lack of bony plates on the body (when the genus was described
as a doradid).
morrowi: For William Morrow, who
collected this fish.